Geico officials along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Tuesday plans by the national company to grow its local workforce while making a combined public- and private-sector investment of slightly more than $15 million.
Geico, which already owns a 255,467-square-foot building in Uniland Development Co.’s CrossPoint, will be occupying the 86,000-square-foot 150 CrossPoint building in the business park.
Geico will be investing $11 million in the project, mostly in the form of new equipment for the call center.
Empire State Development is offering another $4 million and the Amherst Industrial Development Agency is expected to consider a series of tax breaks and incentives related to the project. The public-sector incentives, from both the state and Amherst, are considered crucial for the project to advance.
“We’re ever mindful that GEICO’s success is due to the talent and total commitment of our associates,” said Tony Nicely, GEICO chairman and CEO .“Our Buffalo associates have taken a start-up operation with 75 people in 2004 and built it into an outstanding business enterprise that serves hundreds of thousands of customers across the entire Northeast U.S. These growing operations call for the opening of a second facility. We couldn’t be more pleased to keep hiring and keep growing.”
Since it opened the Amherst center, Geico has hired 2,670 people and is one of the largest private-sector employers in Amherst.
The deal comes three months after Geico paid just over $23 million for its 255,467-square-foot CrossPoint Business Park center, buying from Uniland’s TCC Building R Associates L.P. affiliate.
The sale price had been negotiated as part of a lease package Geico had with Uniland.
Geico had the option to buy the building from Uniland in a clause dating back to its original lease with the developer. The transaction was anticipated.
Geico is part of the Berkshire Hathaway corporate empire. Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett’s holding include the Buffalo News.
James Fink covers real estate, commercial development and government