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Batavia firm hired to help lease Buffalo’s East Side industrial sites

A Batavia property management firm has won a three-year city contract to oversee more than 50 acres of industrial land on Buffalo’s East Side as part of a new light manufacturing economic development hub being created with Buffalo Billion dollars.

The Buffalo Urban Development Corp., which acquired about a dozen acres and 700,000 square feet of manufacturing space in recent months, hired Mancuso Business Development Group to manage and lease out its property holdings in the Northland Avenue Belt Line Corridor. The contract includes an additional two-year option.

The scope of work includes a “pre-activation phase” in which Mancuso will provide basic property inspection, security and maintenance, a transition phase in which some of the properties may be leased to tenants, and a longer-term “stabilization” phase, when it will provide comprehensive property management and leasing services.

Mancuso beat out four other bidders who responded to the agency’s request-for-proposals, including CBRE-Buffalo and a joint team of Altair Real Estate Services and Militello Realty, both of which made the final cut along with Mancuso. The agency’s four-person review committee concluded that Mancuso’s “approach and experience provided the best match with the broader community and business development goals of this project,” according to a BUDC memo. It was also the lowest bidder during the first two phases, with an initial setup fee of $12,200 plus $2,080 per month for the pre-activation phase, $2,700 per month for the transition period and at least $2,700 per month for the stabilization period.

Although new to Buffalo itself, Mancuso has experience not only managing industrial properties but also running business incubators, such as the 960,000-square-foot Harvester Center BIC in Batavia. That’s a former Harvester International manufacturing facility that is now filled with a diverse array of smaller businesses, such as glass studios, local artists, printers, financial services and other office tenants, and small manufacturers. The firm also operates a similar 475,000-square-foot incubator in the former Harrison Radiator facility in Lockport and a 220,000-square-foot mixed-use center in the city of Geneva, as well as a smaller business center at High Falls in Rochester and another single-tenant industrial facility in Batavia.

“They have a history of working on buildings very much like this,” said BUDC Vice President David Stebbins, referring to Northland. “And it takes a little more creative and innovative approach than just a typical real estate deal.”

BUDC also approved the purchase of an additional half-acre property at 577 Northland Avenue, despite some recently discovered environmental issues.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com