Yahoo would add 115 jobs and invest millions of dollars in the Buffalo Niagara region, under a deal being finalized with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration.
Plans call for the California-based technology company to expand its Town of Lockport data center and to add 15 jobs at the facility, which currently employs 77 people. Yahoo also would open a 100-job call center somewhere in the region; the location is not yet determined.
The Cuomo administration estimated Yahoo’s new capital investment would be “tens of millions of dollars” but did not provide a specific figure.
The call center would need to be within a 30-mile radius of the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston in order to be eligible for low-cost hydropower through the New York Power Authority, the Cuomo administration said.
A Cuomo administration official said the potential Yahoo deal “once again shows this administration’s commitment to Western New York and the effectiveness of (the Power Authority’s) investments in the region.”
Before the deal is finalized, incentives to support the project must be approved.
The Town of Lockport Industrial Development Agency will consider tax abatements for the project at a special meeting scheduled for Thursday to review Yahoo’s application. David R. Kinyon, the IDA’s executive director, declined to comment on details of Yahoo’s expansion plan, saying he wanted to give the IDA’s board a chance to review the proposal.
The Yahoo incentives package also calls for the company to receive 7.2 megawatts of low-cost hydropower from the Power Authority, according to the Cuomo administration. The Power Authority’s board of trustees is expected to vote Thursday on that allocation.
And Yahoo would receive up to $2 million in Excelsior tax credits through Empire State Development over a 10-year period to advance the company’s expansion plans.
A Yahoo press representative did not respond to a request to comment Tuesday.
Yahoo opened its massive data center in September 2010. Its $180 million complex includes an administration center and five 33,000-square-foot “data pods,” and serves as Yahoo’s East Coast data center.
Late last year, Yahoo acquired about 13 additional acres in the town’s business park, fueling anticipation that an expansion of the data center was coming.
When the Yahoo project was secured in 2009, it was highly publicized and debated for the size of the incentives awarded to support it, in relation to the number of jobs created. The Buffalo News has estimated the value of those tax breaks and utility savings at $250 million.
The 2009 deal included an allocation of 15 megawatts of low-cost power and an additional one megawatt was approved in 2011 for a second phase of the project.