BUFFALO, NY—The State of New York and theCity of Buffalo have reached an agreement on thesale of 88 acres of city owned property that will be the futurehome of the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hubat RiverBend.

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The sale price for the parcel is $2.5 million and will allow NewYork State to build a $225-million complex that will hostCalifornia-based high-tech energy companies, SoraaInc. and Silevo Inc., that willcollectively invest $1.5 billion into the project and establishtheir major operations in Buffalo. State officials report theproject will create 850 permanent jobs and at least 500construction jobs. RiverBend is the site of a former Republic Steelmanufacturing facility.

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“For decades Buffalo did not receive the support it deservedfrom Albany, but today is a new day and the progress we have madein the past few years is undeniable,” Gov. AndrewCuomo stated when he announced the land sales deal onMonday. “The RiverBend project is one of the most dramatic economicdevelopment undertakings in Western New York's history, and todaymarks a critical milestone for this initiative. Not only is thisinnovative project attracting unprecedented private sectorinvestments and hundreds of jobs, it is also a project that willtie the high-tech and clean energy industries to Western New Yorkfor years to come.”

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Soraa is a manufacturer of green LED lighting based in Fremont,CA. The company will relocate its corporate R&D andmanufacturing operations to RiverBend, investing $750 million andcreating 375 jobs

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Silevo is a Fremont, CA-based company that develops andmanufactures silicon solar cells and modules, with an alreadyestablished manufacturing plant in China. Phase 1 of Silevo'sproject, with a $750-million investment that will create at least475 jobs, involves a 200-megawatt production facility establishingits sole North American manufacturing operations at RiverBend.

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In developing the high-tech manufacturing hub, New York Statewill invest $225 million in Empire State Development capital toestablish infrastructure at the site including water, sewer,utility and roads; construct a state-owned 275,000-square-footfacility that will house Soraa and Silevo as the first two tenants;and purchase and own equipment. Additional facilities will be builtover time to accommodate new manufacturing companies operating inthe fields of biotech, high tech and green energy. The facilitiesand equipment will be owned by the SUNY ResearchFoundation, state officials say.

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.