JAMESTOWN – The Connection, an employer to roughly 200 people, will remain in the city but relocate its local offices after agreeing to a long-term lease with Lynn Development Group, according to Jason Spain, President and CEO of Lynn Development, Inc.
“We’ve executed a long-term lease,” said Spain when reached by phone on Wednesday night. “The Connection is staying, not leaving.”
The company’s new location: The Lynn Building; a modern looking, 85,000-square foot multi-level office building, located at 301 E. 3rd St., is exactly what the company is looking for, according to Spain.
Spain said that the company’s owner, Fred Weiner, “is happy for a variety of reasons.”
“He’s happy to be able to keep his operations under one roof,” Spain said.
Spain said he reached Weiner by phone on Wednesday afternoon as he was boarding a flight.
“He shared with me that The Connection has acquired new clients that will start in the Fall in concert with the company’s move,” Spain said.
The Connection, a call center, outsources calls for Fortune 500 companies, according to its website. The company currently operates out of the 100-year-old Furniture Mart Building on the corner of W. 2nd and Washington Streets.
Last summer, an HVAC leak prompted an evacuation of the building and forced dozens of employees to seek medical attention.
In the wake of that incident and other structural concerns, Weiner had become increasingly discontent with the conditions at the historic building.
WNYNewsNow has learned that talks between Weiner and the City intensified as officials scrambled to find a “suitable home” for The Connection
On Wednesday afternoon, Jamestown’s Director of Development Vince DeJoy painted a picture which articulated the city’s urgency in handling the matter.
“What I can say is that Fred Weiner reached out to the Mayor, and the Mayor is doing everything he can,” said DeJoy. “We are working with Mr. Weiner to find a way to keep them (The Connection) in Jamestown.”
DeJoy said the city spoke with Weiner on multiple occasions last week.
“He (Weiner) had one call with the Mayor and myself, and I had a separate call with Weiner alone last week,” DeJoy said. “We are working with them to make sure that we can keep them here.”
DeJoy said that the city sought help from Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello and Empire State Development; a state entity that handles loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance.
Borrello declined to comment on the intricacies of the efforts to keep The Connection from leaving, only confirming that he was “actively engaged in a conversation that would keep the company in Chautauqua County.”
According to DeJoy, The Connection will receive an incentive package to stay in the state.
Efforts to keep one of the largest area employers in the city come as the local officials are still reeling from the loss of Sam’s Club, which impacted hundreds of jobs and an untold amount of local businesses who relied on the ability to buy in bulk.
“There are hundreds of jobs at stake here, and we recognize that in this administration,” said DeJoy.
Lynn Development Inc. would not confirm the length of the lease, only saying that it was “executed.”
Correction: WNYNewsNow spoke with both Spain and DeJoy Wednesday not Tuesday as originally reported.