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COMIDA OKs tax breaks for Midtown Tower, Costco

Rochester Business Journal
August 27, 2013

Big-ticket developments involving the Midtown Tower and Costco Wholesale Corp. were approved for tax breaks of more than $22 million Tuesday, with five other projects also granted exemptions.

The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency signed off on a 20-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement of nearly $18.6 million with Midtown Tower LLC for its $54.5 million conversion of the 17-story building to mixed use. The benefit to the community is projected to be $11.1 million.

COMIDA approved property tax abatements of nearly $3.6 million for Costco and its planned 150,000-square-foot store at Westfall Road and East Henrietta Road in the city of Rochester. The projected community benefit is $10.7 million.

Developers Laurence Glazer and Robert Morgan plan to buy the vacant Midtown Tower from the city for $2 and create 158,000 square feet of office and retail space on the first three floors and 181 apartments on the upper floors.

The city will loan the developers $3.7 million for the project, with 29 jobs to be created. The work is scheduled to start this winter and be completed by mid-2015.

Costco plans to spend $30.2 million on its first membership warehouse club in Western New York and create 225 jobs.

The store will anchor Anthony J. Costello & Son Development LLC’s $250 million CityGate project on 45 acres. The starting pay for Costco workers is $11 per hour, and the average annual pay is $42,000, a company representative said at the meeting.

COMIDA approved incentives of $295,930 for the Outdoor Group LLC, which wants to buy five acres on John Street Extension in Henrietta and build a 70,000-square-foot facility for production, research and development, sales and administration. The projected community benefit for the $5.5 million project is $6 million.

The manufacturer of high-end archery equipment is moving part of its operations here from Kentucky, and plans to add 50 jobs to the current local workforce of 29.

The company will get $900,000 in Excelsior tax credits from the Empire State Development Corp.

The Outdoor Group is the parent of seven wholly owned manufacturing subsidiaries in New York, Kentucky and Oregon. It generates $20 million in annual revenues, with growth of 60 percent, said company President Peter Crawford, a resident of Livingston County.

Shortino Properties LLC was approved for abatements of $200,397 on its $2 million expansion of its building in Ogden. The benefit to the community is projected at $795,044.

Some 39,000 square feet will be added to the existing 29,000 square feet, with at least nine employees added to its current total of 66. The building is leased to related entity Superior Technology Inc., a metal turning and milling manufacturer.

Button Lofts LLC was approved for tax breaks of $1 million for its $6 million redevelopment of the former Ted Cohen Office Furniture building at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Rutgers Street. The community benefit is pegged at $700,511.

The entity, part of DHD Ventures LLC, plans to transform the building to three townhomes and 36 loft apartments.

Whitney Baird Associates LLC was granted exemptions of nearly $3.4 million to restore a 10,000-square-foot barn and add 31,000 square feet near the previously renovated Culver Road Armory on Culver Road in the city. The benefit is projected to be $886,039.

The nearly $10 million project is the second phase of Fred Rainaldi Jr.’s redevelopment of the armory property. The barn will be used for office and specialty retail, with 12 jobs to be created.

Express Delivery LLC on Mt. Read Boulevard in Rochester was approved for sales tax exemptions of $6,000 on its purchase of a $75,000 box truck. The benefit is targeted at $13,189.

The courier and trucking company, which does business as Instant Again, plans to add one job to its workforce of 34.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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