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Warehouse distribution center taking over Petri building

Submitted Photo Petri Baking is not going to return to Silver Creek.

A new warehouse and distribution center is coming to Silver Creek, but the announcement also means that a cookie company that was planned to return won’t be.

During the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency meeting Tuesday, it was announced that Xmas Dave, LLC will be going into the building located at 18 Main St., Silver Creek, where the former Petri Baking Company was located.

Kristine Morabito, project manager with the county IDA, shared about the new company. Xmas Dave LLC is owned by Dave Gordon of Erie County, N.Y. The building is a 130,000-square-foot facility that he plans to renovate.

The renovation is expected to create five construction jobs. Once completed, the business should have six full-time positions, ranging in salary from $30,000 to $50,000 plus benefits.

Morabito said Xmas Dave LLC will own and operate the facility as a warehousing distribution center for the company’s websites: christmas.com, christmascentral.com and as an order fulfillment center for customers that include major retailers. She declined to identify who the retailers were.

According to Morabito, Xmas Dave LLC already has purchased the building and hopes to start improvement construction as soon as possible with a goal to be finished by June 2023.

The building had been owned by a regional company for warehouse distribution and storage with one part-time property manager. “That’s been going on for 10 years now, so there will be a lot more activity, a lot more jobs downtown,” Morabito said.

In May 2020, it was announced by the IDA that Petri Baking was planning on returning to that facility.

Petri Baking had been in Silver Creek for a number of years before closing shop in 2013. When it was first noted that Petri Baking would return, the announcement was universally praised, saying that around 40 new jobs would be created as a result.

On Tuesday, county IDA Director Mark Geise discussed why they failed to return.

“In 2020, (Petri Baking former President Anthony Habib) was here to announce plans to purchase the building and reopen it and make cookies again,” he said. “We worked with him. We provided a lot of technical assistance. We lined them up with assistance from the state. We approved incentives from the IDA. He was sort of at the 5 yard line ready to punch it across, and that’s about when COVID hit. Because of that and because of supply chain issues, he was concerned about workforce, et cetera, it delayed things, and then he just decided to pull the plug on it.”

Geise believes Gordon will be a good owner. “He’s very established,” he said. “He’s got a successful Western New York business. He’s going to do warehouse distribution out of it. We think it’s a good outcome for the facility. He’s going to invest in it and save that building.”

The project is getting a break on sales tax. Attorney Milian Tyler shared that no action was required by the IDA board due to the small size of the project.

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