Viatran moves to new site in Wheatfield


Wheatfield, NY – May 17, 2010:  A 45-year-old Western New York manufacturing firm is opening the doors to its new headquarters today in Wheatfield after relocating from smaller space on Grand Island.

Viatran Corp. is moving to 18,000 square feet of space at 3829 Forest Parkway, a 42,000-square-foot multitenant facility off Shawnee Road that is part of Calamar Enterprises’ Woodlands Corporate Center East project.

The company makes pressure and level sensors used in oil and gas services, steel production, food and medical equipment, injection molding, die casting and chemical production. It’s owned by Franklin, Mass.-based Dynisco LLC, which itself is a subsidiary of publicly traded Roper Industries of Sarasota, Fla.

It had been leasing space on Industrial Drive on Grand Island from a competitor, but the new facility will allow it to expand and add new products as part of Dynisco’s strategic growth plan, the company said.

“We’re honored to welcome such a dynamic, worldwide organization to our property,” Calamar President Kenneth M. Franasiak said. “We’re extremely pleased to announce this important step for the Woodlands Corporate Center, which is attracting strong interest and will further our strategy to position the park as a destination for national and international clients.”

Founded in 1965 with three people in an old garage on Buffalo’s West Side, Viatran has grown dramatically and now has offices in Franklin, Mass., and in Malaysia. It was acquired by Massachusetts-based Dynisco in 2005.

It currently employs 50 people and plans to add another 25 over the next three years.

Viatran had considered other sites regionally, out of state and even in other countries before deciding on the Woodlands location, where it will receive 150 kilowatts of low-cost hydropower through the Empower Niagara program, as well as other incentives.

The company broke ground for the new headquarters Nov. 13, after the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency in October approved a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of- taxes incentive for the project. Under the PILOT, the company will get an 80 percent property tax abatement in the first two years, which will phase out over the length of the agreement. It also will be exempt from sales taxes on building materials for the project.

The Woodlands Corporate Center East is a 120-acre mixed-use park that includes commercial, industrial, office, retail and residential space, with both multi-tenant flex-space facilities like the one Viatran is in as well as open land that is “build-to-suit.” Calamar has invested $150 million in the project, the largest such development in Niagara County, and expects to host companies that will employ up to 2,500 people, the firm said.

The complex’s residential portion is already completed, including 34 patio homes on a man-made lake and nearly 300 senior housing units in Woodlands Residential Village.

The park also includes 500,000 square feet of industrial and commercial space, built at a cost of $50 million. That’s already completed and occupied, mostly by international companies from Canada and Europe that brought 500 jobs into Niagara County. Retail and office components are also planned, including a 10,000- square-foot medical building.

But Calamar still owns a significant amount of shovel-ready industrial and commercial land, enough to accommodate a 150,000-square-foot project if needed, Franasiak said. Just in case, he’s planning to develop 30,000 square feet of additional industrial space to be ready.

Besides the tenant space itself, amenities include on-site day care, a gymnasium, a park and a system of walking trails, a summer concert series, low-cost hydropower, and both rail and public transit access. The developer is also quick to tout the project’s location on the border of Erie and Niagara counties, adjoining Amherst and in the center of population and business growth.

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