For the second time this week, a significant new investment has been announced for the former Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna. Sucro Sourcing, a sugar cane refiner and distributor, is planning to transform the remains of three abandoned and decaying industrial structures on the former steel complex into newly refurbished and repurposed facilities to include a raw storage warehouse, a sugar refinery, packaging and finished good warehousing and offices. Earlier this week, Uniland Development Co. was selected to build a 150,000 sq.ft. multi-tenant warehouse building on the site.
Sucro Sourcing’s new $19 million investment will create 45 new expansion related jobs, with an annual payroll of $2,968,000. The project includes:
- Raw Storage Facility –The foundation of the former Steam Station No 1 building will be used to construct a new 45,000 square foot raw sugar storage facility, Sucro’s second on the site. Last November, Sucro announced plans to invest $1 million to construct its first on-site storage facility; a 35,000 square foot remake of the former Blowing Engine House No.3, which is targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2021.
- Packaging Facility– the former Power House No.1 building will be transformed into offices and finished product storage/packing for subsequent distribution by train and truck using existing infrastructure, including the Gateway Metroport. This phase will include installation of underground utilities and construction of permanent access roads, parking lots, greenspace and storm water controls. The new intermodal facility is projected to open in late 2021.
- New Sugar Refinery– The final phase will involve repurposing the former Boiler House No.3 facility for refining bulk or raw sugar to finished food grade product. The new refinery, which is targeted for start-up in the fall/winter of 2022, would be the first sugar refinery of its type built in North America.
Upon completion of the entire development project, it’s anticipated that Sucro Sourcing will create a total of 75 new jobs in Lackawanna and expand its ability to receive approximately ten ocean freighters per year and distribute sugar to customers within the Great Lakes region.
“Sucro Sourcing’s significant investment in its Lackawanna operation will be a huge step forward in our efforts to rebuild the city’s business base and increase local job opportunities,” said Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo. “The vision for transforming these once vibrant industrial structures into clean manufacturing operations will breathe new economic life into Lackawanna and Erie County for years to come.”
The new raw goods storage, packaging/distribution and refinery facilities will be located on a 12-acre parcel within the former steel plant complex that Sucro Sourcing has under contract to purchase. This parcel is being remediated under New York State Department of Environmental Conservation oversight through the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program.
In addition to the substantial truck and rail assets of the former steel plant property, the adjoining Gateway Metroport provides a unique and convenient break-bulk location for subsequent shipment via nearby rail and Thruway lines to end-user destinations in Canada, the U.S east coast, and U.S. central states.
Sucro Sourcing is a sugar trade partner for sugar mills, processors, distributors, and food and beverage manufacturers – and a 100 percent cane sugar supplier. The company is based in Coral Gables, Florida with additional operations in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and multiple locations throughout South America. Sucro also operates a sugar refinery in Hamilton, Ontario. The Lackawanna operation just recently opened a new liquid sugar processing facility, and is already a major supplier to several leading global multinational food companies.