Contractor gets support for move to new location in Whitestown

Published Sep 22, 2018 at 4:00pm

A Utica business that is being displaced by the downtown Utica hospital project has received preliminary approval from the county Industrial Development Agency (IDA) board for financial assistance in developing a new home in Whitestown.

The financial package for H.J. Brandeles Corp., which plans to construct a 17,000-square-foot building off Halsey Road, includes property tax abatement through a 10-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement, plus sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions.

Among various other items at its meeting Friday, the IDA board increased a sales tax exemption regarding further renovation plans by the Deployed Resources company at Griffiss business park; and extended a sales tax exemption relating to development of a Briggs and Stratton company site in the former Oneida Ltd. factory in Sherrill.

In the actions:

• The move by Brandeles, a mechanical contractor, is the first project coming to the IDA under its newly approved business relocation assistance policy for the downtown Utica hospital project, said IDA Secretary/Treasurer/Executive Director Shawna Papale.

Among terms of the policy, approved in April, are PILOT programs relating to new construction as well as renovation and rehabilitation costs of a replacement property.

The 10-year PILOT for Brandeles would save an estimated $200,000-$300,000 on regular property tax payments during that span, according to IDA Assistant Secretary Jennifer Waters.

Brandeles, which has 45 employees, plans to create five more jobs within three years, said IDA board Vice Chairman Michael Fitzgerald. The property for its new Halsey Road location is to be subdivided from an Accelerate Sports site, Papale noted. That site has a separate PILOT agreement that previously was approved by the IDA board.

Regarding the downtown Utica hospital project, its construction is being planned by the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), while state funding has been allocated and the state Department of Health has approved a Certificate of Need application. MVHS on Friday issued a statement by President/CEO Scott Perra: “We commend our project partners for a collaborative effort that is resulting in the successful transition of businesses and property owners from within the project footprint. We firmly believe that this transformational project will result in a stronger and more vibrant community.”

MVHS in February announced it would provide up to $1 million in relocation funding for affected property owners in the project footprint, to support businesses looking to relocate within Utica or Oneida County. In addition, property owners in the footprint of the new hospital campus will not be responsible for addressing environmental issues caused by previous owners.

• The sales tax exemption for the Deployed Resources company was increased to $300,000, up from just over $200,000, and is through the end of 2019.

The company had received IDA board approval last year for financial assistance involving further development of its Griffiss park site, and Waters said the company is expanding the scope of that project.

Deployed Resources has created 12 full-time-equivalent jobs on top of an existing 30, and plans to add eight more, said Waters. The company specializes in temporary life support services, facilities and equipment for military, civilian and entertainment users. Its customers have ranged from the Department of Defense and Federal Emergency Management Agency to states, Fortune 500 companies and music festivals.

• A sales tax exemption was extended for ONX3, LLC, which Papale said is continuing to work on improvements for the Briggs and Stratton company’s location as one of the tenants at the former Oneida Ltd. factory in Sherrill that ONX3, LLC owns.

The IDA board last year approved property tax breaks and other assistance for the rehabilitation of about 575,000 square feet in the former factory, relating to the Briggs and Stratton relocation there from other area sites. The company is a mowing equipment manufacturer.