OSWEGO, N.Y-A $40 million, 650,000-sf distribution facility is being built by the Best Buy consumer electronics chain in the town of Nichols near the Pennsylvania border, between Binghamton and Elmira.

The deal was reported at a press conference attended by New York Governor George Pataki and other state officials along with key executives of Minneapolis-based Best Buy.

“Best Buy’s decision to place its Northeast distribution facility upstate begins a terrific relationship between the nation’s top electronics retailer and the great people of New York,” Governor Pataki says. “Best Buy looked at more than 100 sites in five states. Choosing Tioga County for this significant $40-million, 400-job investment provides tremendous confidence for the upstate economy and sends a strong nationwide message for businesses to invest here.

Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2002 and be completed in early 2003. The facility will be Best Buy’s first Northeast distribution center and will supply technology and entertainment products to Best Buy stores throughout the region’s 10 states.

Best Buy Senior Vice President for Logistics, Chas Scheiderer, says, “The pro-business attitude of New York and Tioga County officials was a deciding factor in locating here. We are proud to join the New York team, to be a part of the continued economic growth of the county, the region, and the great State of New York.”

The consumer electronics chain established a presence in New York State several years ago and currently operates 14 stores in the state and 10 in the New York metropolitan area, which includes some locations in New Jersey. The company opened its first New York metro store in the fall of 2000. In the fall of this year, Best Buy plans to open stores in Yonkers and upstate in Ithaca.

The Chicago office of Deloitte & Touche/Fantus Corporate Real Estate assisted Best Buy in the process of identifying and evaluating sites in the Northeast for the new distribution center, according to state officials. The 150-acre site in Nichols is a location that has been included in the state’s Build Now New York and Empire Zone program. Build Now is an economic development program initiated by the governor that pre-permits business sites to make them “shovel-ready.” Empire Zones provide companies with substantial tax benefits and tax incentives for economic development and job creation.

In addition to Empire Zone tax incentives and credits, Best Buy is also eligible to apply to Empire State Development for $500,000 in training assistance and $500,000 for equipment purchases. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will provide $400,000 to help Best Buy build and equip the new distribution center. In addition, the State Department of Transportation will provide funding from the Industrial Access program to provide access roads to the new facility and New York State Electric and Gas will offer utility discounts, officials with Governor Pataki’s office add.

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