June 18, 2004
North America Center Wins Shovel-Ready
Erie County's North America Center business park has been
awarded Shovel-Ready Site Certification status. An official
Award Ceremony will be held on Friday, June 25, 2004 at 3:00
pm. The ceremony will occur at one of the park's newest tenant's
headquarters and distribution facility, Certo Brothers Distributing
Company, 2500 North America Drive, West Seneca, NY 14224.
The New York State Shovel Ready Certification is bestowed
upon sites that have been determined to be ready for new development
and job creation. Sponsors of Shovel-Ready sites have worked
cooperatively with state and local officials to gain the necessary
approvals for the site to be developed. Each site certified
"Shovel Ready" is reviewed to match the needs of growing industries
and commercial interests. Shovel Ready Certification from
New York State is recognized by site selection consultants
and real estate executives as an industry-wide mark of excellence.
New York's Shovel-Ready Site Certification program is administered
jointly by Empire State Development (ESD) and the Governor's
Office of Regulatory Reform (GORR). Participating permitting
agencies include the Departments of Environmental Conservation;
Transportation; and Parks and Recreation.
"We are very honored to receive the Shovel-Ready Site Certification
status; however, if it wasn't for the collaborative efforts
of our public/private team, this award would not have been
possible. We sincerely hope that this designation will not
be taken lightly and will assist our team in attracting industry
and jobs to what, in our opinion, is the best business park
in Western New York," commented Mr. Drew Blum, Director of
Real Estate and Business Development for North America Center
Joint Venture (NACJV).
North America Center is located in Erie County, New York,
in the Town of West Seneca. Owned by The Allied Group and
Nanco Enterprises, Inc., it originally featured 400 developable
acres. North America Center is now closing in on over one
million square feet of occupied space situated on over 100
acres of developed lots. It features easy access to the Route
400 Expressway and the New York Thruway, an expedited permit
process, high-capacity utility infrastructure, and a centralized
storm water management system.
"This important Shovel-Ready Certification is the latest achievement
in our efforts to make North America Center as attractive
for development as possible. The benefits of our efforts are
already appearing, as projects built at North America Center
thus far have created or retained over 1,100 jobs and resulted
in over $95 million in capital investment. By flattening the
process and timeline growing businesses must navigate to evaluate
this site and then gain the necessary development approvals,
we have put North America Center ahead of the competition
right from the start of a site selection process. The Shovel
Ready Certification expedites the development of projects
and lessens risks, which are both critical, cost-saving strengths
when time equals money," commented Mr. Paul T. Clark, Supervisor,
Town of West Seneca.
The Shovel-Ready Site Certification application was prepared
by the West Seneca Development Corporation (WSDC), the local
economic development organization, with assistance from NACJV.
This Certification is the most recent effort in preparing
and documenting the site's pre-permitted status. In 1998,
North America Center was named a finalist, and was awarded
funding, under the Chip Fab '98 Program (later renamed Semi-NY),
the State's first program targeted pre-permitting sites to
serve as a catalyst for economic development. The Erie County
Industrial Development Agency, the WSDC, and an array of state
and local agencies worked together to complete a Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement and pre-permit significant
impacts involving traffic, energy consumption, air emissions,
building bulk and density, and other impacts.
ESD Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "Since taking office,
Governor Pataki has implemented record tax cuts and sensible
policies that have helped create new, private sector jobs.
The positive response to the Build Now-NY program is a terrific
endorsement of the Governor's successes. The new Shovel Ready
Site Certification program will assist in revitalizing New
York State's economy and will provide these sites with an
important edge on the competition."
GORR Director Daniel D. Hogan said, "Governor Pataki's policies
of cutting governmental red tape and pre-permitting economic
development sites has already helped fuel New York State's
economic revitalization. Shovel Ready Certification is another
business-friendly, common-sense, job-creating tool which will
ensure New York State retains its competitive edge in the
The March 2004 issue of Site Selection magazine reported that
New York State remains at a solid second in the nation in
attracting new and expanded corporate facilities. In 2003,
New York attracted 552 projects and expansions, compared with
only 75 in 1994 when the state placed a disappointing 20th.
Drew Blum, Director of Real Estate & Business