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ESD Approves $2.5 M in Grants: Buffalo Gets $400K for Bridge Study

Empire State Development’s Board of Directors met today in
Buffalo and approved $2.5 million in grants, leveraging $43 million in private
investment. These grants, aimed at spurring economic growth, will preserve 529 jobs and create 171 new jobs across
New York State, according to the ESD.

The following is the one
grant approved for Erie County:

Buffalo Harbor Bridge Study (Buffalo, Erie County)

The directors authorized the corporation to enter into a funding agreement with
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and to provide ECHDC with
$400,000 to fund the 20 percent local match required for the Buffalo Harbor
Bridge Study.  The study will review the replacement of the former South
Michigan Avenue Bridge that connected the Buffalo Inner Harbor to the Buffalo
Outer Harbor.  The purpose of the study is to perform site analysis, preliminary
engineering and environmental review for the proposed new bridge.

During an ECHDC meeting last week, the bridge was discussed, but a specific location (within a mile stretch) and the type of bridge that will be used will be decided based on the study. The bridge will be high enough to accommodate tall ships.

other $2.1 million went to the following companies:


G.A. Braun, Inc.-$600,000 (North Syracuse, Onondaga County)

The company, which is a manufacturer of industrial equipment for
the modern laundry and textile markets, will receive a $600,000 Manufacturing
Assistance Program (MAP) grant toward the cost of construction of a
150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and the purchase of machinery and
equipment as part of a consolidation/expansion project in Central New York. 
The $13.3 million project will retain 85 jobs and create 40 new jobs.  


Hi-Tech Pharmacal Inc.-$450,000 (Amityville, Suffolk County)

The company, which produces a broad line of liquid, sterile and
semi-solid pharmaceutical products sold both by prescription and over the
counter, will receive a $450,000 grant for investment in new production
equipment for its corporate headquarters to increase efficiency and decrease
operating costs.  The $3.3 million project will retain 240 jobs and create
50 new jobs.


Cryovac Inc./Sealed Air Corporation-$400,000 (Gates, Monroe County)

Cryovac Inc., a subsidiary of publicly traded Sealed Air
Corporation, is a manufacturer of food packaging and other protective packaging
materials, will receive a $400,000 grant toward facility expansion and purchase
of machinery and equipment to accommodate consolidation in the Rochester area.
The $22.7 million project will retain 120 jobs and create 50 new jobs. 


Brown Shoe Company Inc.-$200,000 (New York, New York County)

Founded in 1878 and incorporated in 1913, the company is a
footwear retailer and wholesaler, and acquired Bennett Footwear in 2005. 
To increase the presence of Bennett Footwear, the company will receive a
$200,000 grant toward renovation of office space in connection with the
expansion of operations. The $3.5 million project will retain 20 jobs and
create 31 new jobs. 


ET Precision Optics Inc.-$175,000 (Rochester and Fairport, Monroe

The company, a rapidly growing manufacturer of precision parts,
primarily optical assemblies, will receive a $175,000 Manufacturing Assistance
Program (MAP) grant toward installation of automated equipment, facility
renovations and training of personnel in order to increase productivity and
competitiveness. The $2.6 million project will retain 64 jobs. 


Victoria Theater Redevelopment Environmental Legal Counsel
(Harlem, New York County)

The Directors authorized the Corporation to amend the contract
with Sive, Paget & Riesel PC to increase the contract limit by an
additional amount of $250,000 so that aggregate fees will be capped at
$500,000.  The contract is for environmental and State Environmental
Quality Review Act (SEQRA) compliance, per the redevelopment of the historic
Victorian Theatre as a mixed-use hotel and residential project with
not-for-profit cultural facilities.


The next meeting of the Board of Directors will tentatively be
held on Wednesday, March 19, at a location to be announced closer to the time
of the event.


Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic
development agency, encompassing business and community development.  ESD
also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. 
For more information, visit


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