Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A public hearing was held today to help decide whether or not Delaware North, one of the largest food service and hospitality companies in the world, should receive tax breaks on their investment in a new building on the corner of Delaware and Chippewa.
The company, which is owned by Jeremy Jacobs and his family, has hinted at placing future expansions in different cities such as Boston if they do not receive incentives from Erie County.
"Losing Delaware North would be enormously harmful to this community," said Deputy Erie County Executive Richard Tobe. "How many headquarters of companies that size do we have? It's really important to keep companies of that size here, but not to 'give away the store' either."
The hearing was short, lasting only six minutes. Just one person spoke out against giving incentives to Delaware North, claiming that the company could easily afford to make the move without incentives.
Delaware North Vice President Dan Zimmer made a short statement at the beginning of the hearing, and declined to comment after.
In the statement, Zimmer said:
Delaware North is a family-owned business that is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2015. That is also the year that our lease at Key Center expires.
Delaware North recently submitted an application for assistance from the ECIDA through one of the ECIDA’s programs to obtain sales tax abatement on the investment Delaware North will be making to build out its 109,000 square feet of office space inside Uniland’s proposed 250 Delaware Avenue building. Delaware North is looking to be a tenant in Uniland’s proposed building. Delaware North is seeking assistance toward the floors it will be occupying in the building.
The Jacobs family wants to keep its world headquarters in downtown Buffalo. It has grown its business here and feels a sense of loyalty to its hometown.
Through our proposed lease, we’re looking to create a true world headquarters facility that the City, County and State would be proud of; and to commit to keeping Delaware North’s World Headquarters in Buffalo, as well as keeping its existing employment and its growth all in one place.