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'Complex' negotiations continue on RiverBend project

WBFO File Photo

After making celebratory announcements of plans to bring high-tech jobs to Buffalo, state officials appear to be toning down expectations.

In November, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to spend $225 million building the new RiverBend complex off South Park Avenue.

At the time Soraa, which makes LEDs, and Silevo, a solar panel manufacturer, said they would invest a combined $ 1.5 billion in the facility and create hundreds of jobs.

In Buffalo Tuesday, Cuomo said positive conversations with the companies are ongoing. If Silevo is acquired by Solar City and more space is needed, Cuomo said RiverBend could be expanded.

"If it works out. But we're in the middle of a very complex business negotiation because we want to grow businesses. We want them located here," Cuomo said.

"But of course we're talking about taxpayers dollars. And that's precious. So we want to make the best deal that we can. And we're in the midst of that discussion."  

Cuomo says the California-based companies are talking to other states also. While he'd like them to set up shop in South Buffalo he says the state does not want to pay more than it has to. The RiverBend project is modeled after a program that spurred the successful nanotech industry in Albany.