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Iskalo buys Hamburg retail center, plans improvements

Williamsville real estate firm Iskalo Development Corp. has moved into the Southtowns for the first time, buying the Hamburg Village Square retail shopping center to gain a foothold in the popular village center.

Iskalo did not say how much it paid to acquire the 93,000-square-foot plaza, which is anchored by Dollar Tree, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Tuesday Morning and Biehlers Village Square Liquor. The plaza at 140 Pine St. and backing up to Buffalo Street, also includes Sherwin Williams, ZJ’s Restaurant and Federal Meats as tenants.

A shopping destination in the village since the 1950s, the 6.7-acre plaza had been owned by Phillips Edison & Co., a national real estate investment and management firm that specializes in retail properties. Phillips Edison had acquired the property in July 2007 for $12.86 million, but the property was targeted in a foreclosure action last July by M&T Bank Corp.

“We have always gravitated to well-located projects in village settings,” said firm founder, president and CEO Paul B. Iskalo. “There is something about the charm and authenticity of villages that we are attracted to, and the Village of Hamburg is a great example of that.”

The firm owns and operates 22 commercial, industrial, retail and hospitality properties throughout Buffalo and its Erie County suburbs to the north and east of the city, as well as the Signore manufacturing plant in Ellicottville.

“We remain focused on Western New York in general, but are interested in good real estate anywhere within Western New York borders,” said Iskalo Executive Vice President David Chiazza. “It would make sense for us to build upon this asset.”

Iskalo now plans to invest in improvements to the property over the next 12 to 18 months and market the available space for lease. The developer will also work with the village to continue hosting the annual Santa’s Workshop as part of the village holiday celebration in December.

“The plaza hasn’t quite kept pace with the village center, both in terms of appearance and vibrancy,” Iskalo said. “As a Western New York-based company, we believe we can provide the necessary focus and attention for the property to succeed and continue to be a valuable community asset.”

email: jepstein@buffnews.com