BUFFALO, NY—The State of New York and the City of Buffalo have reached an agreement on the sale of 88 acres of city owned property that will be the future home of the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend.
The sale price for the parcel is $2.5 million and will allow New York State to build a $225-million complex that will host California-based high-tech energy companies, Soraa Inc. and Silevo Inc., that will collectively invest $1.5 billion into the project and establish their major operations in Buffalo. State officials report the project will create 850 permanent jobs and at least 500 construction jobs. RiverBend is the site of a former Republic Steel manufacturing facility.
“For decades Buffalo did not receive the support it deserved from Albany, but today is a new day and the progress we have made in the past few years is undeniable,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated when he announced the land sales deal on Monday. “The RiverBend project is one of the most dramatic economic development undertakings in Western New York’s history, and today marks a critical milestone for this initiative. Not only is this innovative project attracting unprecedented private sector investments and hundreds of jobs, it is also a project that will tie the high-tech and clean energy industries to Western New York for years to come.”
Soraa is a manufacturer of green LED lighting based in Fremont, CA. The company will relocate its corporate R&D and manufacturing operations to RiverBend, investing $750 million and creating 375 jobs
Silevo is a Fremont, CA-based company that develops and manufactures silicon solar cells and modules, with an already established manufacturing plant in China. Phase 1 of Silevo’s project, with a $750-million investment that will create at least 475 jobs, involves a 200-megawatt production facility establishing its sole North American manufacturing operations at RiverBend.
In developing the high-tech manufacturing hub, New York State will invest $225 million in Empire State Development capital to establish infrastructure at the site including water, sewer, utility and roads; construct a state-owned 275,000-square-foot facility that will house Soraa and Silevo as the first two tenants; and purchase and own equipment. Additional facilities will be built over time to accommodate new manufacturing companies operating in the fields of biotech, high tech and green energy. The facilities and equipment will be owned by the SUNY Research Foundation, state officials say.