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BUDC poised to buy another Northland property

The Northland Corridor light industrial campus on Buffalo's East Side is poised to grow yet again.

The Buffalo Urban Development Corp. – which owns and manages the complex of properties and buildings – is planning to purchase another manufacturing facility on Northland to give it additional land for future development.

The 1.81-acre property, located at 714 Northland, currently contains an 18,900-square-foot facility that is fully leased to Well Worth Products, which just renewed its lease for another three years. The one-story red-brick building was constructed in 1940, and previously housed Enertech Labs.

But the rest of the land "presents flexible options for future development and additional parking," according to a memo from BUDC President Peter M. Cammarata to the agency's board. There is already a 21-space parking lot.

"Acquisition of this property will be a valuable addition to BUDC's existing holdings and consistent with BUDC's long-term strategy to create a manufacturing campus along the Northland Corridor," Cammarata wrote.

The current owner contacted the agency earlier this year to propose a sale, Cammarata wrote. BUDC has negotiated a purchase price of $425,000, which matches an independent appraisal, and signed a contract with the current owner, subject to approval by the agency's board at its Dec. 18 meeting. The purchase will be mostly funded with conventional bank loans, although the agency may tap the Buffalo Brownfields Redevelopment Fund to cover a portion of the cost.

Cammarata wrote in his memo that an environmental conducted for the agency found that conditions there are "typical for properties located in the Northland Beltline corridor," while "the building is in good condition."

BUDC is leading the $120 million redevelopment of the 35-acre Northland campus, using state and local funding to demolish or transform aging and abandoned buildings in a bid to create a light-industrial economic hub as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion. The goal is to bring companies, jobs and investment to one of Buffalo's impoverished neighborhoods, while advancing the local manufacturing industry.

The project is anchored by the new Western New York Workforce Training Center, which opened in September in 100,000 square feet of a much larger building at 683 Northland. The purpose is to train workers from the surrounding neighborhoods and elsewhere in the city so they can take on advanced manufacturing jobs at new companies. Buffalo Manufacturing Works also will be relocating to the same building, taking up another 50,000 square feet, when its space is renovated.

The rest of the space in that building is being targeted for other uses or leasing to other companies.

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