Area Development
Rich Products Corp., a company that works with its customers in its innovation center to develop new food products, will invest $18.5 million to expand and upgrade its customer service facility at its headquarters in Buffalo, New York, saving 651 jobs while hiring 17 additional employees.

New York State Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said it ensured the company’s long-term commitment towards Buffalo and Western New York at a time when other states were trying “to pull our jobs away.” Construction of the new Rich Products innovation center on Niagara Street will begin next month and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.

This $18.5 million is the latest in a series of investments worth $70 million over the last five years that Rich Products has made in the properties it owns in Buffalo. William Gisel, Rich Products president and Chief Executive Officer, said that the firm’s new center will have state of the art technology to handle interaction with customers from all over the world, and provide more space for product development.

As an incentive, New York State provided the firm with $4.9 million in grants and tax credits, which include $2 million grant from Empire State Development, along with tax credits worth $2.9 million under the Excelsior Jobs program. In addition company is eligible for low-cost electricity under the Recharge NY program.

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is also expected to provide local sales tax incentives worth almost $491,000. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority may fund a $4.5 million plan to create an urban transit corridor with better bus service and improved living standards. The City of Buffalo offered to fund $5.6 million in infrastructure improvements around the company’s campus.