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Daikin McQuay facility - November 2016

The former site of Daikin Applied in Technology Park in Auburn.

The former Daikin Applied facility in Auburn has found a serious suitor in Tessy Plastics, an expanding manufacturing company based in Elbridge.

Tessy Plastics has submitted an application to the Auburn Industrial Development Authority for financial assistance to help with potential plans to purchase the property, a nearly 31-acre parcel owned by Daikin Applied.

The parcel, at 4900 Technology Park Boulevard, was used for decades as a manufacturing facility by Daikin Applied, formerly known as Daikin McQuay. The facility had employed more than 350 people until it was closed this past February as the company decided to move operations to Mexico.

According to its AIDA application, Tessy Plastics is looking to purchase the property for $8 million. Once purchased, the company would initially use the space for warehousing — though the long-term plan would be to make it into a manufacturing facility.

With its application to AIDA, Tessy Plastics indicated the company is "very seriously evaluating" the purchase. Beyond 10 jobs for construction purposes, the application did not include a number of anticipated jobs that would be created from the project.

AIDA is scheduled to conduct an initial review of the application during its next meeting on Wednesday. A Tessy Plastics representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

"The long-term plan will be for Tessy to bring the McQuay manufacturing facility back to life for our ever-growing consumer products business," the company wrote in a memo to AIDA.

Tessy Plastics is headquartered in Elbridge, but also has locations in Virigina and China, according to the company's website. The manufacturer is in the middle of a 250,000-square-foot expansion of its Van Buren facility in Onondaga County, which is expected to result in 100 more jobs.

The company has applied for assistance from AIDA in the form of sales and use tax exemptions for materials needed to renovate the facility. The company is also seeking amendments to the existing payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, which is set to expire in 2022, according to Tracy Verrier, executive director of the Cayuga Economic Development Agency.

CEDA handles AIDA's administrative services. Verrier said Tessy Plastics is seeking $150,600 in sales and use tax exemptions associated with $1.895 million in project purchases.

These exemptions could be applied to items like office equipment, furniture, shelving, etc., Verrier said. In its application, Tessy Plastics identified around $2.8 million in immediate maintenance needs, including a roof replacement and sprinkler upgrades listed at $1.7 million and $500,000, respectively.

For its long-term plans, transforming the former McQuay site into a Tessy manufacturing facility would cost $8.29 million, including $7.5 million in production equipment, according to the company's estimates. 

Verrier declined to comment on the terms of the amended PILOT, saying AIDA members will likely discuss those further on Wednesday.

"I think there's some excitement around the possibilities," she said on the project. "It's just a matter of hammering out the details."

Tessy Plastics first contacted AIDA about the proposal on Oct. 31. In its initial consideration of the application Wednesday, Verrier said AIDA members may decide if they are comfortable with the terms and whether to move forward with the next step: a public hearing.

Following the public hearing, AIDA would vote on whether to approve the application.

"(Tessy Plastics is) quite interested. They're ready to get moving on this," Verrier said. "They turned this application around very quickly and are looking to move ahead."

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Staff writer Greg Mason can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or greg.mason@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenMason.

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