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Firm Picks South Buffalo Site for $100 Million Steel Mill Project

A start-up Dubai-based firm has chosen a South Buffalo brownfield site as the location of a new $102 million steel factory that will employ 172 workers.  The project by Alita USA Holdings is receiving a host of public incentives totaling $10 million along with property and sale tax breaks and low-cost power.  The sale of unutilized hydropower from the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant is expected to provide $2 million in funding.  The WNY Power Proceeds Allocation Board recommended the project’s approval this afternoon. 

From The Buffalo News

Plans call for Alita to build a 340,000-square-foot pipe mill on a brownfield site – vacant lot on Rittling Boulevard. The site also will include a separate 16,000-square-foot building that will be used as a laboratory, office space and for storage.

Alita began looking at Buffalo as a potential site for the plant about a year ago, when it contacted the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise business development and marketing group for assistance. The BNE worked with Alita officials to select a potential site for the plant, as well as helping the company determine the type of financial incentives it might receive.

Buffalo was competing with Houston for the new plant.  It is expected to open in 2015 and jobs are expected to average $72,500 a year in salary. 

Rittling Boulevard is located on the north side of Tifft Street west of Hopkins Street.  The project will be adjacent to where Hydro-Air Components constructed a 152,000 sq.ft. facility that opened in 2007.   That company was purchased by the Zehnder Group and renamed Zehnder Rittling.

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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  • BeardedBuffalonian

    Nice project. You never know this could be a part of something a lot larger.

  • schetm

    I think this type of industrial development is exactly what Buffalo needs, but I think the site would be better served as the home of a new football stadium.

  • flexme

    Awesome news. things are looking up more with each passing day.

  • buffdude

    Great news. Hope other companies see this and expand in Buffalo.

  • greenca

    It is very unlikely that there will be a new football stadium.

  • GinghamQuaker

    We need as many jobs in this salary range as we can get. Very good news.

  • tjhorner1

    greenca you doubt that there will be no new football stadium in this location, or no new stadium, period.  
    I’d say that the odds of a new stadium for the Bills in WNY within the next 12 years, are way better than 50/50….   As far as this location goes…probably not a top 10 choice.
    This announcement is more great news.  Just need more of it.

  • Jtown

    Great news! The jobs will be very welcome. 
    A couple considerations regarding pipe mills. One question is the sustainability of this business venture. I’m assuming this pipe is being manufactured for the sole purpose of supplying the natural gas boom. So once the boom ends will this business still be around. You might argue that they wouldn’t invest 100 million if they didn’t have a solid business plan/forecasts…to that I’d argue that they are based in $Dubai$. Second consideration and this is more of a local one for the immediate area is noise mitigation. Someone should warn the residents with houses in the post’s picture that these places can be especially loud…pipes banging at all hours of the day. It could be a major quality of life issue as it is in the town that I work in that has numerous new facilities like this. 
    Still great news as far as the jobs go. Go Buffalo!

  • NewBuffalo

    This is really great news!!!!!

  • buffalorr

    I’d be happy if Buffalo were to become a center of heavy industry once again. As helpful as they are, we need more than Dollar Stores, Walmart’s, service industry jobs, call centers etc. If what they’re saying is true, average salaries of $72,500 then this may be one of he most important new employers to hit Buffalo in decades.

  • buffaloroam

    The actual article said 72,500 in total compensation. When you take into account health insurance, life insurance, FICA tax, disability, and unemployment, your probably looking at a job that starts at half that. But still pretty nice.

  • buffalorr

    buffaloroam, yes agree. The fact that the company could be offering those benefits places these jobs way ahead of the Walmart type slave wage retail and service jobs that have become the norm in much of the country.

  • OMG!
     so, what will they be manufacturing here?

  • Seydlitz

    Awesome. Anyone keeping track of the number of investments over $100 million in the past year or so?

  • No_Illusions

    Will this be part of phase one for the River Bend Industrial Park Project from ECID?

    Great news though! The River Bend site could easily represent 5,000 jobs once its fully filled.

  • No_Illusions

    It also has the potential to really turn around that section of South Buffalo.

  • No_Illusions

    oscar_da_grouch westsd 

    The main reason is that the ECID actually has a comprehensive master plan for the site.
    Lackawanna has no plans at all for the massive former Bethleham steel site.
    If Lackawanna got their act together, then maybe they could draw some investment in small increments.

  • No_Illusions

    Most of those employees will be engineers. A lot of modern manufacturing is automated nowadays.
    There will be very few actual workers.

  • No_Illusions

    Depends. The economic impact of those jobs plus the property tax when its finally levied will have to equal at least 12 million.
    Considering the payroll of this place is already at 12 million per annum, that alone ensures that this is a viable endeavor for the city…even if the company does fold in the near future…though considering the natural gas and fracking boom, it could be 2 decades before the company has to rethink its business strategy.

  • Spock1

    oscar_da_grouch westsd Christy-lou is that you?

  • greenca

    I am doubting that the Bills will stay in WNY after Wilson dies.  Chances are he won’t be alive in year 7 of the current contract, and whoever owns the team will take advantange of the escape clause.

  • Spock1
    bingo!  i think you win today’s prize!

  • No_Illusions
    understood, but a steel plant makes stuff out of steel.  what exactly will they be making?

  • grad94 No_Illusions Pipes

  • GinghamQuaker

    buffalorr Yes, paying people to do something that requires no skills is indicative of “slave wage”. Regardless, it’s definitely important for the city to bring in more high paying jobs.

  • buffalorr

    I wouldn’t say they have no skills, working with the public giving customer service is something to be valued. How well it’s done has to evaluated on a per person basis. Value should also be placed on the time they put in from their own lives by working there. They are still putting millions worth of profits into Walmart’s etc. profits. These profits wouldn’t be possible without them. Whenever I come into contact with a person in a low wage job, I think “but for the grace of God, there go I “.

  • Nickel City Nick

    I think I heard on the radio this morning that they’re expecting 172 jobs.  Can anybody confirm that?

  • oscar_da_grouch westsd
    not convinced. sorry.

  • biniszkiewicz

    grad94 oscar_da_grouch westsd
    I’m wondering if he’s got multiple personas today. Who is kotter?

  • Jtown 
    “I’m assuming this pipe is being manufactured for the sole purpose of
    supplying the natural gas boom. So once the boom ends will this business
    still be around.”
    are we sure about the fracking connection?  pipes are a basic need everywhere.

  • Spock1

    oscar_da_grouch westsd There’s no way to know for sure, so if you say you aren’t CL, you deserve the benefit of the doubt.  
    It’s just an interesting coincidence that the oscar name was created around the same time the “abbyr” handle was called our for Christie-louishness.  That and the fact that the content and style of the comments for Oscar-Abby-CL are remarkably similar.  Same applies to the ‘Kotter name which seems to have been created at the same time the comments from oscar stopped.
    The biggest question now is does Bini get the pin the tail on the Christy-Lou prize for mentioning the Kotter connection in a reply to oscar, or does he have to respond to Kotter directly.