Niagara Gazette

March 21, 2013

Yahoo expansion to be topic of meetings

BY JOE OLENICK
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Yahoo is expected to present its plans for expanding its Town of Lockport data center at a special meeting of the Lockport Industrial Development Agency’s board of directors today.

Also today, the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees will meet at 11 a.m. Expanding the allocation of power to Yahoo is on that meeting’s agenda.

An expansion of the data center has been anticipated since Yahoo purchased a 12-acre site in the Lockport Industrial Park in October for roughly $195,000. The property is adjacent to the data center, a 30-acre facility between Crown Drive and IDA Park Drive and north of Enterprise Drive. The following month, Town of Lockport Board members voted in November to give a portion of Crown Drive to Yahoo.

Specifics about the expansion are unknown at this point, but the special meeting will give the IDA board an opportunity to review the details of Yahoo’s application for financial assistance.

“We’ve not received a final application,” said David R. Kinyon, the Lockport IDA’s executive director. “The purpose of Thursday’s meeting is to receive their application and set a public hearing.”

NYPA will be discussing whether or not to allow a power allotment for the Yahoo expansion. State Sen. George Maziarz said he’s been told the expansion could add as many as 115 new, good-paying jobs.

“I think this is great news for Lockport,” he said.

Plus, he added, it’s a sign of the company’s faith in the area. That was seen in the fall when Yahoo laid off 2,000 people nationwide but Lockport was unaffected. The company indicated it was looking to expand in Lockport.

The low-cost power and IDA financial assistance were major reasons Yahoo built the data center in the IDA Park.

Yahoo has 75 employees, recruited primarily from the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region according to the company, 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.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.