New Business Headquarter's Rises Out of Contaminated Factory Thanks to Utility Incentives

Nov 4, 2013

Outside Empower's New Headquarters
Credit John Smith / WAER News

With the help of National Grid’s Economic Development Program, what used to be the vacant B.G. Sulzle plant in Salina has been transformed into the new headquarters for Empower Federal Credit Union.  The 75,000 square-foot facility received more than $282,000 in incentives.  C.E.O. John Wakefield says the credit union has already realized huge efficiency gains.

“We’re not lead certified but we’re lead ready. If we ever had to or were forced to create a building where it was a hundred percent that all buildings had to be lead certified we can easily do that and very quickly.”

Empower received a mix of incentives from NYSERDA and National Grid to add a new energy efficient heating and cooling system.  National Grid’s Regional Executive Director, Melanie Littlejohn says the site was also selected for Brownfield Redevelopment and environmental remediation.

“We’ve given out a little over three million dollars to date in Brownfield Redevelopment right here in our own backyard. So can the project be expanded: absolutely. It’s really by what companies and visionaries are out here. And we try to help their vision come to life.

Littlejohn adds there already other a list of eligible Brownfield redevelopment identified through Centerstate C.E.O. and others.  The construction project for Empower’s headquarters cost millions of dollars and created local construction jobs.