BY JOE OLENICK
Niagara Gazette — Internet giant Yahoo has agreed to purchase a 12-acre site in the Lockport Industrial Park, following approval of the purchase contract Thursday by the Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors.
The parcel is located east, right next to Yahoo's existing data center, a 30-acre facility between Crown Drive and IDA Park Drive and north of Enterprise Drive. The IDA said the land purchase will enable Yahoo to expand its datacenter complex at a future date, although no plans are currently in motion.
Yahoo has agreed to pay $194,850 for the 12-acre parcel. In addition, the Town of Lockport will be asked to abandon a portion of Crown Drive so that Yahoo will have control of the site from Junction Road, east to IDA Park Drive. The Yahoo electric substation is located proximate to Crown Drive on the east side of the current 30 acre site.
“Yahoo’s initial selection of the Town of Lockport as the site for its northeast datacenter facility was a great reflection on the advantages we have as a business-friendly community and on the resources we have as a region,” Supervisor Marc R. Smith said. “Yahoo’s decision to purchase additional property in the Lockport Industrial Park for future expansion demonstrates the growth potential and vitality of our region in the technology sector.”
Yahoo has 75 employees, recruited primarily from the Buffalo Niagara Falls region the company says, working in the Lockport data center, which opened in September 2010. The center opened in two phases, the first being a 124,000-square-foot, including an administrative center and three data wings. The second phase featured another 66,000-square-feet of data center space.
In 2009, the town IDA granted Yahoo an 18-year property tax break, which included a 100 percent tax exemption for the first 10 years.
Also at the IDA meeting on Thursday, the board of directors agreed to sell a three acre parcel in the IDA Park to McGuire Development. The purchase is for the purpose of developing a business incubator building, a structure where new businesses can come in and grow.
McGuire Development, R&P Oak Hill Development and Wendel Cos. originally submitted their bids to develop the Lockport Business Park incubator building in May. As part of the agreement, the IDA offered to sell McGuire Development the property at the reduced rate of $5,000 per acre; undeveloped land in the Industrial Park lists for $25,000 per acre.
The IDA said McGuire Development will construct a first-phase building of at least 10,000 square-feet of flexible space and loading docks with overhead doors. The building will be designed to enable the developer to expand it modularly to accommodate tenant interest.
The contract with McGuire Development also provides the option for McGuire to purchase an additional 2 acres for a second phase project. Upon successful completion of both projects, McGuire further has the ability to purchase another parcel of approximately 2 acres for the same purposes.
All of the parcels purchased and under option to McGuire are located on the south side of Enterprise Drive, between IDA Park Drive and Junction Road.