Modified: August 12, 2020 12:56pm
The County of Erie, The Buffalo and Erie County Industrial Land Development Corporation (“ILDC”), and TMP Technologies (“TMP”) joined various community stakeholders Wednesday to celebrate the “topping off” of the steel frame structure on TMP’s new manufacturing facility on the former Bethlehem Steel property in Lackawanna. When finished, the 290,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant will employ more than 120 new and retained full-time workers—in addition to the 100 construction workers currently building the $22 million project. The progressing construction of the TMP facility and ongoing development activity on the 150-acre site are the direct result of the County and its partners remaining committed to recovering the local economy, in spite of the economic setbacks created by the COVID-19 crisis.
TMP, which manufactures cleaning products for a Fortune 100 company, had previously announced that it had outgrown its current facility in the City of Buffalo, and planned to expand and relocate. In 2019, after a long search of available local properties, TMP purchased 28 acres of land from the ILDC on the former Bethlehem Steel site, and local general contractor Kulback’s, Inc. began construction on the manufacturing facility. The new building will make TMP the first tenant on the ILDC-owned, County-backed 150-acre parcel, which is being further redeveloped into a modern commerce park.
“We have taken another major step forward in this important project that we believe will stimulate further economic growth and very promising job creation,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, who also serves as chairman of the Industrial Land Development Corporation Board of Directors. “This is an exciting time for Erie County, specifically the City of Lackawanna. For far too long we heard nothing but disappointment about the former Bethlehem Steel property. Through a lot of hard work and significant collaborative investment thanks to our partners in government and the private sector, we are going to be able to marvel at the tremendous progress we have made in the birth of a state-of-the-art commerce park that will be the home of many good-paying jobs for local residents.”
“Being able to expand our operations in a new facility with logistical amenities like highway access, enough acreage, and convenient commute for our workforce made this the perfect location,” said Bob Laughlin, President of TMP Technologies. “We are Western New Yorkers, our employees are Western New Yorkers. TMP is committed to Buffalo, and we look forward to other manufacturers joining us here as neighbors in the new commerce park in the near future.”
“As President & CEO of the ECIDA and the ILDC, I congratulate TMP Technologies on this truly significant milestone,” said John Cappellino, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency and the Industrial Land Development Corporation. “I am extremely proud of our team, and the collaborative efforts with Erie County, the City of Lackawanna, and Empire State Development. I thank the County Executive for his vision and leadership, and former landowners Tecumseh Redevelopment for collaborating on the sale of the parcels. Our mission at both the IDA and the ILDC is economic growth and job creation. As the first tenant of our future commerce park, this project represents a successful step forward in that mission.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “New York State support has been critical to Erie County’s acquisition and transformation of land at the former Bethlehem Steel site. At this unprecedented time, New York is building back better, with this company and with a vibrant business park that will attract new companies and jobs to Buffalo.
“The City of Lackawanna is grateful for TMP’s investment in our community – bringing over 100 jobs and significant long-term economic benefit to our city,” said Lackawanna Mayor Annette Iafallo. “We’re also thankful to them for being a part of the bold vision set forth by County Executive Poloncarz and his team for restoring economic and community vibrancy to this once proud site. We look forward to having TMP as a member of the Lackawanna business community for many years to come.”
Local general contractor Kulback’s, Inc. has been working on the project since last year.
“Kulback’s has a long history of high profile general contracting projects in Erie County, but this was a particularly special one. Working on a site with the history of Bethlehem Steel, and participating in the redevelopment process into a new commerce park has been a rewarding project for us. I want to thank TMP for the opportunity, and we are working hard toward the day when this first building on the redeveloped parcel opens its doors to workers and becomes operational,” said Kulback’s President Tom Barrett.
Dona Street Extension & Phase II of Public Access Bike Path
One of the first infrastructure projects in the future commerce park strategic plan was to extend Dona Street from Ridge Road into the site. This project required Erie County building 0.27 miles of brand new road on the site. After almost 8,000 man hours the project was competed in earlier this year and was opened to the public in March.
The Dona Street component also included installation of new sanitary sewers, fire hydrants, street lighting, storm sewers and sidewalks and the erection of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Dona Street and Route 5 that features a deceleration lane along the southbound direction of Route 5 for vehicles wanting to make the right turn into the industrial park.
A bike path along Route 5 was part of the larger strategic plan for the redevelopment of the 150-acre parcel. Phase I of the Shoreline Trail Bike Path was completed in 2019, and three Phase II proposed bike path extensions from Dona Street to Woodlawn State Beach Park will be presented during an online public comment meeting Thursday, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m.
No registration is required for the public or members of the media to attend the public Zoom meeting. To join the meeting, click on this link (active Thursday at 5:55 p.m.): www.ecidany.com/streaming