Savarino Companies

ECIDA Grants Tax Breaks for Projects to Revitalize Two Empty Buffalo Buildings

The Buffalo News


Two long-vacant city buildings are on track to coming back to life, supported by incentives approved by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

The board on Wednesday backed tax breaks for a $32 million project known as 500 Seneca St. and an $8.1 million project called The Planing Mill, which will revitalize the former Spaghetti Warehouse building at 141 Elm St.

500 Seneca's partners are Savarino Development and FFZ Holdings. The project will receive about $1.15 million in incentives: $1 million in sales tax savings, and about $150,000 in mortgage tax savings. The city and county will still receive full annual real property tax payments.

500 seneca, once the home F.N. Burt Co. factory, will consist of 300,000 square feet of office space, and will initially house two tenants: FFZ and the BCOME job training program. combined, they will fill about 24 percent of the space.

The sales tax abatement on materials and equipment for the project will be restricted to the building shell and core, and materials and equipment only for tenant finishes, for non-retail tenants.

The Planing Mill project is led by Elm Michigan Holdings LLC, which was formed by several members of the TM Montante family. It will consist of office and residential space, with C&S Engineers taking about 6,500 square feet. C&S will relocate from 90 Broadway, where its lease is expiring, and plans to add one job, bringing its total to 20 employees. About 75 percent of the 44,000 square foot Elm Street building's space will be for residential purposes.

The project was approved for sales tax savings of about $214,000, and 1 percent of the final mortgage
amount, estimated to be about $45,000. The ECIDA's vote was 14-2.

Matt Glynn


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