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Howden Fan moving into former Quad Graphics plant in Depew

An industrial fan manufacturer is moving its local aftermarket division with more than 100 employees from an Amherst facility to larger space within the former Quad Graphics building in Depew.

Howden Fan, part of Howden North America, is relocating from 23,000 square feet of space in a building owned by Zaepfel Development Co. at 1775 Wehrle Drive, at Youngs Road, to a portion of the sprawling former publishing facility at 2475 George Urban Blvd., according to Richard Schechter of Pyramid Brokerage Co. of Buffalo, who handled the deal.

The company, whose parent is owned by Fulton, Md.-based industrial manufacturing conglomerate Colfax Corp., will occupy 30,000 square feet in the larger 850,000-square-foot complex, now known as the George Urban Business Center and owned by Sonwil Corp.’s Peter Wilson and developer Frank Campofelice.

“This new location, which consolidates all of its operations in the Buffalo area, gives Howden North America additional size and layout to accommodate present operational needs and anticipated future growth,” the company said in a statement. In the past year, Colfax acquired three other companies, two of which deal in similar businesses as Howden.

The hulking facility, which Wilson and Campofelice bought for $4.4 million, is now 60 percent occupied, with Sonwil taking up about 200,000 square feet of it and other tenants occupying another 300,000 square feet.

The Buffalo operation actually traces its roots back to Buffalo Forge Co., which was created in 1878 to make blacksmith’s forges and later expanded to include drilling machines in 1883 and steam engines and pumps in 1889.

The company also made heating equipment, dust collectors and a range of metal cutting and forming equipment, and operated plants elsewhere in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Formerly owned by the Wendt family, it went public in 1941, was acquired by Howden Group in 1993 and was renamed Howden Buffalo in 1999 and then Howden North America Inc. in 2010. Its original facilities on Broadway were previously demolished.