Taking advantage of an opportunity to capture a large swath of Southtowns land at a low price, Benderson Development Co. this week bought 40 acres of land in Orchard Park from an estate for $500,000.
The Florida-based developer – originally from Buffalo – bought the vacant land on Union Road near Southwestern Boulevard from the estate of Harold L. Gantzer. Gantzer, a former Buffalo civil engineer, plaza developer, boat owner and onetime owner of the Buffalo River Marina, died in April 2008.
The property has frontage on both Union and Southwestern, forming a triangle with the two main roads and wrapping around the Five Corners intersection. It's also immediately south of property Benderson already owns on Union Road with one significant office user and a former Buffalo Athletic Club and L.A. Fitness facility. And there's a Delta Sonic car wash – which Benderson owns – just to the south.
The deal includes a small dilapidated retail strip plaza at 3077-3093 Union, with only a single month-to-month tenant remaining, but that antiquated building wasn't the primary focus, said Benderson Vice President Eric Recoon.
"By and large, it's a land acquisition," Recoon said. "This was an acquisition as much about future opportunities as anything else."
Recoon said the developer doesn't have any current plans for the property or any specific user in mind, but "we look at this as a site where we're apt to be patient."
"The endless opportunities include a future that could have retail, office, warehouse, even residential, so there are a multitude of options that could make sense," he said. "And the purchase price for the amount of acres was something that we thought was a sound acquisition."