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CertainTeed's site up for sale

The Buffalo industrial building that houses CertainTeed Corp.'s local manufacturing/distribution operations has been put up for sale.

Cardinal Industrial Real Estate, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., has put a $13.8 million price tag on the four-year-old building, located in Lakeside Commerce Park. The 276,000-square-foot structure was the first building constructed at the former brownfields site along the Union Ship Canal.

Cardinal co-principal George Hicker -- who is best known locally as a Franklinville High School basketball phenom who went on to play for Syracuse University and the NBA's Atlanta Hawks -- confirmed his group began marketing its entire industrial portfolio, including the CertainTeed site, in July.

However, he said he's cooled the sales push in light of the volatile economic climate.

"These are all solid investments that I'm content to hold onto them until the economy gets straightened out," Hicks said. "But if someone is willing to pay the price we're looking for, we'll sell now."

Hicker's firm specializes in acquisition of high-end industrial properties across the country on behalf of a pool of investors that includes a number of professional athletes and coaches. L.A. Laker's Coach Phil Jackson and Syracuse University Coach Jim Boeheim are on Cardinal's investor roster.

The investment group's portfolio includes some 7 million-square-feet of real estate in a dozen states, with a combined value of $350 million. In addition to Buffalo's CertainTeed site, Cardinal owns the Ball Corporation plant in Syracuse and the Utica Conveyors site in Utica. Those two properties have been priced at $20.2 million and $5.2 million, respectively.

Hicker's group bought the CertainTeed property in May 2006 for $12.4 million from Krog Corp., the local development firm that built the structure.

A CertainTeed representative reached Friday said sale of the building will have no impact on its operations. CertainTeed, which employs some 200 workers at its Buffalo vinyl fence railing and decking operation, has a lease at the site that runs through April 2020.

David Stebbins, president of the Buffalo Urban Development Corp., which is overseeing development of Lakeside Commerce Park, said the 'For Sale' sign on the CertainTeed building is not a negative.

"If anything, it's a positive sign for the Buffalo real estate market and the Lakeside site," Stebbins said. "If they can get what they're asking, it will have been a profitable investment for them."


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