Tonawanda News

The City

May 29, 2013

Business eyes Spaulding site for expansion

Tonawanda News — Simmers Crane Design & Services is the first company to publicly announce its desire to take residence in the City of Tonawanda’s newly developed business park at the former Spaulding Fibre site. 

The company, which is owned by Pollock Research & Design, currently rents an 11,000-square foot facility on Fire Tower Road in the Town of Tonawanda, but is looking to move to a larger site. 

“We would like to stay in the Tonawandas,” the operations manager, Peter Gruenthaner, said. “But, essentially, we need more manufacturing space.” 

The company was founded in 1958 and builds and services overhead cranes typically found in machine shops that are used in steel mills as well as the automotive and power generation industries. Simmers has had a facility in the town for 10 years, and employees 30 people locally, Gruenthaner said. 

If the company does make the move to the city, Simmers would employ at least five more individuals.

But, at this point, the move is only in the application stage. 

“The only thing we have really done is apply for assistance from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency,” Gruenthaner said. “The project hinges on being able to get that assistance.”

The application to the ECIDA details the company’s plans to build a 20,000-square-foot building on 4.86 acres of the property. The project is estimated to cost $1.7 million. 

A hearing on the company’s application will be held Thursday, the ECIDA website states. If the application is approved, the ECIDA would assist the company by providing financial assistance — likely in the form of sales and use tax exemptions, a mortgage tax exemption and a partial real property tax abatement. 

The plans mark a new beginning for the Spaulding Fiber site, which housed 860,000 square feet of factory buildings. The company was once the largest employer in the city, and produced circuit boards for transistor radios among other things. 

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