Geico Goes West to Amherst, NY

It looks like Geico Inc. and its 2,500 jobs aren’t headed for Wayne County or the Rochester area.According to today’s Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Geico will open a service center in Amherst, Erie County, a suburb of Buffalo, according to Amherst Supervisor Susan Grelick.Grelick’s announcement, which she also posted on her Web site Monday, ends four months of uncertainty about where the coveted economic development project would land. Geico looked at sites across the state including the Silver Hill Technology Park in Newark and a site within the Rochester Technology Park in Gates.Grelick said Amherst was able to put Geico in an Empire Zone by getting neighboring Tonawanda to extend its zone to include 5 to 6 acres in Amherst. Geico preferred to locate in an Empire Zone because that state program affords businesses tax breaks and other incentives over a fixed period.Jim Homburger, owner of Silver Hill Associates, the firm marketing the property, said a number of officials from GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Co.) have visited the technology park in September looking at an 80,000-square-foot building there. GEICO is the country’s largest direct marketer of auto insurance and the fifth-largest private-passenger auto insurance group. It employs more than 20,000 people in 10 locations. Salaries at the new service center would range from $25,000 to $60,000.


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