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Ryerson sells Lancaster property for $15 million

A publicly traded metal processing, fabrication and distribution company has sold its Lancaster facility to a Dallas-based investment firm for $15.44 million in one of a series of four recent commercial real estate deals topping the million-dollar mark.

Joseph T. Ryerson & Son Inc. – part of the Ryerson Family of Companies – sold a 21-acre property on Walden Avenue to Spirit Realty LP, a publicly traded real estate investment trust that specializes in single-tenant "operationally essential" properties with long-term leases.

The sale included three parcels at 3905, 3919 and 3929 Walden, including heavy manufacturing facilities on 11.8 acres, plus vacant industrial land. As part of the deal, Ryerson signed a 12-year lease to stay at the facility, with no changes to its operations.

Originally founded in Chicago in 1842, Ryerson processes industrial metal sheets, coils, bars, tubes, plates and other structures for a wide range of businesses. The company has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and China, with 4,600 employees in 100 locations.

The company had previously had an operation on Stanley Street in Buffalo, but closed that and consolidated operations to Lancaster after it acquired Lancaster Steel in 2006 for $5.5 million.

Separately, a California real estate investor paid $4.265 million to buy a Rite Aid Pharmacy property at 3249 Sheridan Drive in Amherst from another California firm.

Emily Sharon of Woodland Hills, Calif., through Juri Properties LLC, bought the property from real estate investment firm Pontus Capital of La Jolla, near San Diego, through Pontus RAD Portfolio LLC. The deal does not affect the pharmacy itself, which has been there for 20 years and has a lease for another 10.

The 10,908-square-foot building sits on 1.38 acres near the new Whole Foods store and the planned conversion of the former Northtown Plaza into Station 12.

Also, two New York City investors swapped a WellNow Urgent Care facility in Cheektowaga. An entity called 3450 Union Road LLC, controlled by Martin B. Amdur and Michele Fieland Pauker, paid $1.845 million to acquire the property at that address from David Carr's Buffalo City Digs LLC. Carr is a divorce and family law attorney, with offices in both New York City and on Franklin Street in Buffalo.

The 3,200-square-foot, single-story facility was built and opened last year, with a 20-year lease for the health care firm.

And Jeffrey Russo, CEO of Pine Hill Fresh Foods – formerly Pine Hill Coffee – sold the company's warehouse and distribution facility at 3538 California Road in Orchard Park to Jonathan Corto's 3538 California Road LLC.

Corto, a former Buffalo Bills defensive back who owns Buffalo Strive Vending with his wife, paid $1.25 million to Russo's PHC Properties. Corto's company provides healthy snacks, filtered water, coffee and other products, in support of the NFL's Play 60 initiative to encourage children to be active and healthy.

Founded in 1967 as Pine Hill Coffee Service Inc., Russo's company expanded beyond its roots and then sold its wholesale coffee operation and mobile catering business in separate deals several years ago.

The 35,560-square-foot building, constructed in 1979, sits on 8.3 acres at the southeast corner of Milestrip Road, with 14-foot to 20-foot ceilings and four grade-level loading doors.

In other deals:

• As expected, TM Montante Development completed its buyout of Rochester developer Robert C. Morgan and his family from their 50% stake in a Delaware Avenue office building. The purchase had been approved by federal prosecutors and a federal judge last month, as Morgan is under indictment on mortgage and insurance fraud charges.

Montante, through 1275 Delaware LLC, paid $963,074 to VES Partners LLC to take sole ownership of the building, which the firm now plans to redevelop into apartments as part of the Lancaster Square at Gates Circle project. That effort was held up as long as Morgan was a part-owner of the building. However, he still has a significant stake in the rest of the former Millard Fillmore Hospital site.

• Paul Camarre of Tonawanda, acting through Peak Development LLC, paid $538,000 for a 3,000-square-foot warehouse at 26 Cooper Ave. in the Town of Tonawanda from Aristidis P. Bouris' 26 Cooper Ave LLC. Built in 1973, the facility sits on 2.58 acres.

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