Tonawanda News

Business

January 18, 2010

TOWN OF TONAWANDA: Business park inks deal for the future

Owners of the Town’s Riverview Commerce Park signed a memorandum of understanding Monday with a Chinese sustainable technology coalition, a move hailed as the first step in reinventing the area’s former industrial role.

“The (memorandum) creates a platform for a framework for collaboration,” State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, said.

Schimminger spoke at the event, also attended by various other public officials on the state and local level, as well as a representative from the Empire State Development Corp., Monday at 10:30 a.m. at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership complex in Buffalo.

Also present was Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, who early this month was named chairman of the senate’s energy committee.

TM Montante Development, which owns the spacious business park on River Road emphasizing hundreds of acres of open spaces as a selling point, will partner with the Chinese Shanghai New Energy Industry Alliance.

“It is yet to be determined exactly how the two companies will collaborate,” Schimminger said after the signing.

Dan Montante could not be reached for further comment later in the day.

Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony Caruana, however, said Monday’s event is viewed as a jumping off point for a joint public/private effort to help the renewable energy industry — growing in China — take hold in the area.

And yes, he said local jobs would be a central part of that plan — that is, to possibly create “an east coast hub” in the Town Empire Economic Development Zone for renewable energy technology.

The agreement could mean anything from a future research and development operation, sales and distribution of photovoltaic — capable of producing voltage when exposed to radiant energy such as light — components and/or an assembling plant. The business park could potentially be used to host a site for a model solar farm.

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