11 Jan

East Coast Olive Oil moves west to Rome

Celebration marks building’s completion

By Tory N. Parrish,

ROME — East Coast Olive Oil’s new facility in Rome should be fully operational by summer, Chief Executive Officer Steve Mandia said.

The company held a ceremony Wednesday to celebrate the completion of its new 180,000-square-foot building at Griffiss Business & Technology Park.

“The importance is we’ve outgrown our facility here in Utica and it’s really a great opportunity for us to build a brand new facility from the ground up,” Mandia said. “And it really is needed to help maintain our current business, but also, without it, we’d be unable to grow.”

Founded in 1991, East Coast Olive Oil imports bulk olive oil and packages 65,000 metric tons of olive oil and vegetable oils annually. The company, which employs 120 people, announced in May that it planned to relocate to Rome, after outgrowing its 60,000-square-foot facility on Wurz Avenue in Utica.

“What we were able to do was to save these jobs because there were other locations that they were looking at,” Rome Mayor James Brown said.

East Coast’s $16 million project included paying Griffiss Local Development Corp. $400,000 for a 20-acre site in May.

Company and government officials, including Brown, Oneida County Executive Tony Picente and state Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, D-Rome, attended Wednesday’s ceremony, which included a tour of the site and placing the last piece of steel on the facility.

With its new project, East Coast will receive more than $9 million in government tax benefits, including a payment in lieu of taxes program with the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency worth about $1.4 million, according to Rob Duchow, spokesman for the agency.

That program is tied to the company maintaining at least 120 employees for the next 25 years.

“It really shows, through teamwork and bipartisanship, what you can really accomplish by working together,” Brown said.

New facility at a glance
East Coast Olive Oil’s new $16 million facility at Griffiss Business & Technology Park in Rome should be fully operational by spring.

The company will receive more than $9 million in county and state financial benefits, including a 25-year payment in lieu of taxes program worth $1.4 million in which the company’s property tax payments will change incrementally: 100 percent payment – years one through five; 66 percent payment – years six through 15; and 100 percent payment – years 16 through 25.

East Coast will also receive:

•A mortgage recording tax exemption: $125,000
•A sales tax exemption for building materials: $500,000
•Empire Zone tax credits: $2.9 million
•Empire Zone real property tax refunds over seven years: $2 million
•Railroad subsidies: $1.2 million
•Railroad extension: $1.3 million (the company’s tax payments will be used to repay the development agency for this 4,500-foot railroad extension that connects the property to existing railroad at Griffiss.)

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