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Auto Radiator Sales has signed a lease with the Zaepfel-Krog Corp. for 117,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at the Broadway Industrial Center, Cheektowaga.

The radiator builder-importer will vacate 80,000 square feet of leased space at 60 Industrial Parkway in the Gardenville Industrial Park, also in Cheektowaga. The company hopes to be in its new location by the end of January.

"Our business is rapidly growing. We expect this year a 30 percent increase in business over last year, to between $23 million and $24 million in sales," said Rick Fuller, Auto Radiator's director of engineering and manufacturing. The company employs 60 and ships its products to radiator repair shops throughout North America.

The addition of Auto Radiator fills a significant portion of vacant space at 2775 Broadway, the former long-time home of Birge Wallcoverings. Imperial Wallpaper had operated the plant since Birge's 1983 pullout until it, too, closed due to poor sales last year. The company continues to lease about 37,000 square feet from Zaepfel-Krog.

Sorrento Cheese also leases about 12,000 square feet, said Zaepfel-Krog spokesman Greg Zaepfel. About 48,000 square feet of space remains available.

"We spent about $1 million in renovating the facility since we took over earlier this year," Zaepfel said. Renovations included improving exterior aesthetics, including landscaping, and stripping layers of sample wallpaper from interior walls.

Zaepfel said the property, purchased from Buffalo's Schmitt family, includes an additional five vacant acres. Currently, there are no plans for expansion.

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