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HBS Building Supplies buys City of Tonawanda warehouse

HBS Building Supplies has acquired a 74,000-square-foot warehouse in the City of Tonawanda to expand its own capacity, buying it from the former owners of a warehouse distributor that occupied the facility more than a decade ago before it was acquired by a Canadian firm.

HBS, of West Henrietta, paid $1.85 million to buy the former MAWDI and Uni-Select auto-body parts warehouse at 601 Vickers St. from Clarit Realty Ltd. of Amherst, controlled by the Buzzard family. Built in 1969, it sits on 5.1 acres just across the street from Ellicott Creek, near the Raintree Island apartment complex.

The warehouse had been used by Middle Atlantic Warehouse Distributor (MAWDI), which was sold to Montreal-based Uni-Select in late 2004, although the Buzzards still owned the facility itself. Uni-Select kept operating the facility until it sold its U.S. operations to Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises on June 1 as part of a larger $340 million auto parts transaction, and no longer needed the Tonawanda building.

HBS, originally Henrietta Building Supplies, specializes in drywall, ceilings, steel framing, insulation, doors, frames and hardware, and distributes its products in the Rochester, Buffalo and Erie, Pa., markets through three stores. Its current Buffalo branch is located at 595 Fillmore Ave. in the City of Tonawanda, just around the corner from the new site, but it needed room to handle its growth, and hired Pyramid Brokerage Co. of Buffalo to find a new location.

“The supply of industrial buildings remains extremely tight in Western New York and in other upstate New York submarkets,” said David Schiller of Pyramid, who brokered the deal along with Pyramid colleague Ben Borruso. “Most transactions involve expanding local and regional companies, of which HBS is an excellent example.”