The Project was originally home to Niagara Machine and Tool Works (NM&TW) that built stamping presses and press brakes for sheet metal. Its equipment was shipped to automobile and appliance manufacturers worldwide. NM&TW’s facility consists of three distinct contributing buildings related to specific functions of the manufacturing facility and the factory evolution: 1) The Headquarters and Main Factory (built in multiple building campaigns from 1910-1981), 2) the Pattern Shop (built in 1913) and 3) the Metal Fabricating Plant (built in 1953). The Headquarters, the Main Factory, and the Pattern shop are what makeup Northland Central. The multiple building campaigns consist of a continuous series of irregular masses and volumes that were added as capacity, technology, and manufacturing needs were required. Depending on the time construction took place, the spaces vary in style and design from utilitarian industrial, ceremonial, and purely utilitarian. NM&TW was sold to a London-based international manufacturing company in 1992 and most of the company’s manufacturing activities ceased around 1999 and the buildings remained vacant.
In 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his “Buffalo Billion” plan to redevelop the long-vacant and underutilized industrial land in the Northland Corridor on Buffalo’s East Side. Northland Central will be the anchor of the Corridor and home to the Western New York Workforce Training Center (WTC), a one-of-a-kind facility that will focus on training for careers in advanced manufacturing and energy sectors. The second anchor tenant will be Buffalo Manufacturing Works, a non-profit engineering service, research, and development company that provides services and support to local industrial groups to develop more efficient operations processes and facilitates entry into new markets.
The remaining space at Northland will be leased to small, light industrial users, start-up enterprises, and community users. The Project will be placed in service in two phases, with the first phase expected to place in service in June of 2018, with the second phase to follow in July 2019.
It is estimated that 300 low-income persons annually will be positively impacted by the programs offered at WTC. Northland Central’s general contractor and subcontractors are expected to provide 144 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions to low-income persons or residents of low-income communities. Of the anticipated construction jobs, 30% will be dedicated to local residents, 25% to minorities and 5% specifically to women.
In addition, the various tenants of Northland Central will provide job opportunities to low-income individuals, and low-income entrepreneurs projected to retain over 124 FTE positions, create 67 FTE positions and serve an additional 25 low-income participants annually.