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Grand Isle site sold to Donnelley of Chicago

German-owned company APP Pharmaceuticals LLC sold a vacant building and property on Grand Island this week to communications and printing giant RR Donnelley & Sons in one of two large industrial land deals in recent days.

Chicago-based Donnelley paid $2.5 million for the property at 300 Lang Blvd., next to the Niagara Thruway near Bedell Road and Grand Island Boulevard.

APP, formerly American Pharmaceutical Partners, had owned the one-story building "for many years now, and it's remained empty," with just the company's name on it, said spokeswoman Debra Lynn Ross. "We kept it around for the past many years. We were looking at how to utilize it."

Owned by German health care company Fresenius SE, it has about 1,400 employees, including 600 at its flagship plant on Grand Island, at 3125 Staley Road, where it now has 38 acres and three buildings after buying the former plant of Japanese drugmaker Astellas Manufacturing for $12 million in September 2008.

APP specializes in injectable drugs used for anesthesia, cancer care and prevention of infections. It sells more than 100 products and different formulations for use in hospitals, long-term care facilities, alternative care sites and clinics in North America.

Officials at Donnelley could not be reached to comment about their plans.

Donnelley, a global firm that provides printing, logistics and outsourcing services to more than 60,000 customers worldwide, has operations in North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe, with 55,000 employees. The company's Response Marketing Services direct-mail division already operates a plant at 3235 Grand Island Blvd., about 1.4 miles away.

The company tried to buy Montreal-based rival Quebecor -- now called World Color Press -- in August 2008 and again in May 2009 for $1.35 billion while Quebecor was in bankruptcy protection, but withdrew after being rebuffed. World Color is now being acquired by another rival, privately held Quad/Graphics of Wisconsin, for $1.3 billion.

Separately, gas retailer Noco Energy Corp. is converting a former Lackawanna convenience store and gas station into a Noco Express location after acquiring the property this week.

The family-owned Tonawanda energy provider and gas station operator, through 2530 HTP LLC, paid $1.85 million on March 24 to buy the former home of Frank's Mini-Mart at 2530 Hamburg Turnpike, or Route 5, from 2530 Hamburg Turnpike LLC. It was owned by Frank J. Mathews Jr.

Noco is still doing some improvements to the interior, and the station will likely remain a Valero until Noco can "get a team up and running there" in a week or two, said Michael Newman, executive vice president at Noco in charge of the company's 34 Noco gas stations in Erie, Niagara and Monroe counties.

"We're very excited. It really fits perfectly into our model," Newman said. "We'll continue to bring it up to Noco standards and really have a great offering in there."

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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