HANOVER - Hundreds of jobs could be coming to the area.
Seneca Nation of Indians leaders, acting on a retail feasibility study completed this summer, are considering the next phase of plans that could lead to a 400,000-square-foot outlet mall on a 108-acre site just off Exit 58 of the state Thruway. The parcel of land is located just off the Nation's territory.
If the project continues forward, it is expected to create an estimated 250 construction jobs and 750 full- and part-time jobs when fully built.
A “bean field” in the town of Hanover, the site of a proposed 400,000-square-foot outlet mall just off Exit 58 of the state Thruway, is pictured.
The retail feasibility study was announced Thursday by Robert Odawi Porter, nation president; Richard Nephew, council chairman; and Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards.
"If (Richard Nephew) and I are elected president and treasurer, we will work with the council during the next two years to make this a top priority of our administration," Porter said.
The project will cost an estimated $50 million, and will be built in an area currently known as the "bean field" in Hanover. The location is close to the Nation's sovereign Cattaraugus Territory.
"The analysis that we've done so far indicates that the most profit for the Nation will come if this land is not put into the sovereign status of the Nation," Porter said.
The Nation's economy generates nearly $1 billion in revenue, provides 4,400 jobs and produces an economic impact on New York state of $640 million, according to an economic study released earlier this year.
According to a press release, the Nation's economy has an impact approaching that of all the region's independent colleges and universities combined. Additionally, it has more than twice the total economic impacts of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres.
The Seneca Nation economy, with total revenues of more than $928 million, created an estimated gross regional product of $565 million in Western New York and $640 million in the state in 2010. Statewide, the Nation's purchasing and hiring resulted in at least $53 million in off-territory excise and sales taxes paid to New York State, mostly from Seneca Gaming employees.
The total demand of the Seneca Nation - spending and payroll - in 2010 was $710.2 million. This includes $188.3 million in infrastructure improvement and capital construction in 2010.
"This is a significant economic investment of $50 million. It is an opportunity to add hundreds to 1,000 opportunities for people to go to work in New York," Edwards said. "This will have a dramatic positive impact on Erie County, Cattaraugus County, Allegany County, Chautauqua County, and all of our economies will benefit from this process."
Porter and Nephews promised that if they are elected president and treasurer of the Seneca Nation, they will make the outlet mall a top priority.
"I see it not only as an opportunity for jobs, but also an opportunity for local people - Seneca citizens and non-Seneca citizens from the area - to take this opportunity as a business opportunity," Nephew said.
The next phase of the project includes seeking financing. Additionally, the Nation's Council must approve the project. If the project continues, Porter said construction will begin within the next two years. He was unable to give a time frame of when the project would be completed.