NU Tax Free Zone

DePaul Hall, once home to Niagara University’s science programs, has been approved as a Start-Up NY tax-free zone.

Niagara University has received unanimous approval to have 24,409 square feet of its campus designated as a Start-Up NY tax-free zone.

The university will now seek to attract eligible businesses that support its academic mission and whose priorities align with the strategic investment areas determined by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.

NU will consider companies in the hospitality and tourism, health and life sciences and advanced manufacturing industries.

Prospective businesses will be identified through NU alumni and faculty contacts, in addition to assistance provided by the Empire State Development Corporation and the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

The initiative is viewed on campus as another way for Niagara to solidify its position as a key driver in the continuing economic development of the region. The university’s economic impact on the local region is estimated to exceed $227 million annually.

“Attracting start-up ventures provides an important opportunity to further strengthen the economic vitality of Niagara County by attracting new businesses and corresponding jobs to the region,” noted the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president. “As an institution, we have gone to great efforts to align our objectives with those that benefit our students and have been identified as integral to Western New York fulfilling its enormous potential.”

Endorsed by the Start-Up NY Approval Board on Friday, one of the designated spaces at NU is DePaul Hall, the 9,409-square-foot facility that housed the university’s science programs until they moved into the B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences in fall 2013.

Also slated for development is a 15,000-square-foot parcel of vacant land near the university’s primary entrance (via Witmer Rd.). The land offers direct access to the I-190 thoroughfare and is less than five miles from the Canadian border crossing at the Lewiston-Queenston international bridge.

Businesses operating in Start-Up NY designated areas are free from state taxes for up to 10 years and, in the case with NU, also enjoy access to the resources of higher education, such as faculty expertise and advanced research laboratories.

Additional benefits for Niagara University include bolstering relationships with industry partners through experiential learning and workforce opportunities for students and graduates, as well as via research initiatives with faculty.

The Start-Up NY program took effect in January 2014.