7/13/2009

History of Landing Yahoo!

Posted by MJ

Buffalo News has a lengthy but interesting article
on how the Yahoo deal got done and eventually ended up here in Lockport.

Some quotes:

Now, BNE could propose six sites, and Yahoo! requested a seventh because it had read news stories about HSBC Bank USA’s now-abandoned data center project in Cambria. Besides that property, BNE offered up Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, Eastport Commerce Park at Walden Avenue and Pavement Road in Lancaster, Riverview Commerce Park in Tonawanda, Buffalo East Technology Park in Pembroke, Medina Business Park, and Lockport Industrial Park.
The Lockport site was actually the last on the tour, which is usually an insurmountable hurdle since a site team is exhausted. What helped was goodwill from another business located in the industrial park, Exel Logistics of Ohio, which welcomed the group into its conference room for refreshments.
“It was a terrible day. It was raining, and cold. It was mid afternoon, and they went into this conference room, and there were snacks and coffee and soft drinks,” Kenyon recalled. “That extension of hospitality, at that point in their visit to Western New York, made a real strong impression on them.”

Yahoo! wanted a lot of power, but for fewer than 125 jobs, Kessel said. It wouldn’t work using the formula of jobs-for-megawatts, but “those ratios just don’t hold in this economy.”
So, he “put that to the side.” He credits the Power Authority staff for getting Yahoo! to increase its jobs projection, but admits that “I would have done anything to get this deal done.”
The questions that remain is what will the City do to make the most of this? Can a grant be found to wire up DT along with the Yahoo! Site? What can we do to get these "high tech" software workers to want to live in the city and become vested in it? When they start to branch off into their own businesses how do we make sure they want to (and are able to) set up in the city? The seeds need to be sown now.

-MJ

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