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Buffalo planners approve SolarCity spinoff proposal

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The city of Buffalo Planning  Board has given its approval for a warehouse that will supply materials to SolarCity.

SolarCity is planning to build 10,000 solar panels a day when it's up to full production, expected early in 2017. That's going to require a lot of materials steadily. A lot of that might come from a giant warehouse right across the street on land used for logistics by Republic Steel when it was making steel on the SolarCity site.

Developer Tim Vaeth says the $7-million, 83,000-square-foot warehouse complex is there because SolarCity is there.
"It's spin-off development," says Vaeth. "It absolutely is there as a supplement and to complement what they are doing across the street. There's a high level of interest, right now, in support and that additional supply chain. And, also creation of jobs too. SolarCity is responsible for a certain number of jobs on-site. Hopefully, we can help."

J.W. Danforth will own the complex and take more than half the space, both to serve SolarCity and a growing business in Buffalo and the South Towns from a site nearer than its Tonawanda home. Vaeth says the rest of the space will probably fill with companies supplying Solar City once contracts are signed. He says solar panels might go on the new building.

The city Planning Board approved the plan yesterday.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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