The $55 million center is part of a deal to grow IBM in New York, and will be run by SUNY's College of Nanotechnology. The state will buy and furnish the portion of the building used by the center, while the rest will remain a private, commercial office building. The 500 jobs are expected by 2019.
The Key Center is currently home to the corporate headquarters for Delaware North Companies, which will be vacating most of the building once its new facility is completed next year at the corner of Delaware & Chippewa. Were it not for the IBM project, Delaware North's move would have left approx. 80 percent of the south Key Bank tower vacant.
Key Center includes over 650,000 square feet of office space overall, and has 135,000 square feet of underground parking.
Here's the announcement from the Governor's office:
|GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES BUFFALO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES INNOVATION AND COMMERCIALIZATION HUB TO BE HOUSED AT KEY CENTER
Lead tenant IBM to create 500 new information technology jobs in heart of downtown Buffalo
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, with IBM as its first anchor tenant, will be housed at Key Center in downtown Buffalo. The project will train IT professionals, educate new IT staff through partnerships with the State University of New York (SUNY), and develop next generation IT software needed to drive state-of-the-art discoveries in the areas of molecular research, genomics, energy efficiency development and defense. The IT Innovation and Commercialization hub is funded with a $55 million investment from the Governor’s Buffalo Billion initiative.
“By selecting Key Center as the home for this visionary project, we are cementing Buffalo as a focal point of advanced research and commercialization,” Governor Cuomo said. “This center for cutting-edge software development – along with our other two innovation and commercialization centers focusing on medical and clean energy technologies – is positioning Western New York as a leader in high-tech industries and a pioneer of new discoveries. I am pleased to see the IT Commercialization and Innovation Hub sited in downtown Buffalo, and look forward to seeing it as a driver for good paying jobs and private investment for years to come.”
The Key Center was selected following a competitive RFP process managed by McGuire Development Company. The RFP was released on April 25th with a response date of May 2nd. Following the receipt of seven responses, McGuire Development Company recommended shortlisting three of the seven respondents, who were then interviewed individually in Buffalo on Friday, May 30th.
James F. Dentinger, President of McGuire Development Company, LLC said, “McGuire Development Company is thrilled with the selected site for the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub. We received numerous incredible and creative responses to our RFP. Our detailed search process demonstrated the strength of our local landlords and revealed a very competitive and worthy marketplace. We believe that Key Center will serve as the ideal home for IBM and other high tech companies seeking to join in the incredible opportunities Governor Cuomo is helping to create here in Western New York and the City of Buffalo.“
As part of this development, IBM will locate 500 new information technology jobs in the Hub in downtown Buffalo. The Hub will function as a magnet for additional IT companies in partnership with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC), State Data Center, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and University at Buffalo.
As announced previously by the Governor, New York State will commit $55 million through CNSE to be used at the Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub. This includes $15 million to establish an open innovation facility and $40 million to purchase IT equipment and software. The Hub will be owned by New York State and its resources will be made available to all IT units at all state agencies.
Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and CEO of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering said, “With a great site now identified for the Buffalo IT Innovation and Commercialization Hub, our public-private partnership can carry out Governor Cuomo’s mandate for developing the high-tech ecosystem that will create exciting new, dynamic high tech business opportunities in Buffalo and Western New York, and secure the jobs of the 21st century to its citizens. With a first anchor partner like IBM, Governor Cuomo has made a truly landscape changing opportunity here for decades to come.”
Howard Zemsky, WNYREDC Co-chair and Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group, said, “There is simply one word to best describe what Governor Cuomo’s vision has achieved for our region: progress. Wisely building on our inherent strengths and leveraging strategic state investments, the Governor has attracted world-class businesses to all of Buffalo’s emerging Hub projects and we’re really only just getting started. This is an exciting time for Buffalo and Western New York and the Governor has made it abundantly clear that he won’t rest until our economy reflects the investment and job creation these and other projects will bring to us. We’re on the right track, the foundation the Governor has established is strong and as a result our best days are ahead of us.”
The IT Innovation and Commercialization Hub is part of Governor Cuomo’s long-term commitment to Western New York. The previously announced Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the Buffalo High-Tech Innovation and Commercialization Hub at RiverBend are proceeding on their respective development paths, helping to solidify and diversify the region’s expanding high-tech economy. Through the Buffalo Billion initiative and three rounds of funding through the WNYREDC, the State has invested more than $600 million in Buffalo and Western New York. This focused strategy is designed to create the types of transformative jobs that will generate economic growth in the region for generations to come.
IBM is a globally integrated technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, New York. With operations in more than 170 countries, IBM attracts and retains some of the world's most talented people to help solve problems and provide an edge for businesses, governments and non-profits.
Innovation is at the core of IBM's strategy. The company develops and sells software and systems hardware and a broad range of infrastructure, cloud and consulting services.
Today, IBM is focused on four growth initiatives – business analytics, cloud computing, growth markets and Smarter Planet. IBMers are working with customers around the world to apply the company's business consulting, technology and R&D expertise to build systems that enable dynamic and efficient organizations, better transportation, safer food, cleaner water and healthier populations.