Hamburg IDA buys land for industrial park in Woodlawn


First it was Benderson Development Co. and another private developer who wanted to get into the light industrial business in the city of Hamburg with proposals for new warehouse projects.

The city now wants to do the same.

The Hamburg New York Land Development Corp. on Wednesday agreed to purchase 26.2 acres of vacant land, which it plans to convert into a business park, from RP Oak Hill Building Co. on the northeast corner of Lakeshore and Milestrip streets, or Routes 5 and 179.

That’s just north of the Ford Motor Co. Stamping Plant on the other side of Milestrip and just across Route 5 from the Gateway Building – also owned by an RP Oak Hill subsidiary but being sold to the Cedarland Development Group.

Under the terms of the contract, the city agency — a subsidiary of the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency — will pay $575,000 for the property, or about $21,950 per acre, with completion this summer after 90 days of due diligence, which also includes the environment Wetland assessments and delineation are expected.

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There are plans to prepare the property for redevelopment, for use by small light industrial or logistics tenants, said Sean Doyle, managing director of Hamburg’s IDA and LDC, citing the demand for such space in the region and the lack of available options . CBRE-Buffalo reported last month that the industrial vacancy rate in western New York is just 1.3% — a record low.

However, unlike the Benderson project, which requires over 802,000 square feet of space in five buildings, the city’s initiative focuses on small businesses, engineering firms and service companies with buildings ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 square feet, Doyle said.

The agency expects to create the infrastructure on the site for developers and could even subdivide the property and sell portions of 3 to 5 acres for one user.

“We received a lot of interest prior to the acquisition, so we’re hoping to hit a market niche there that the 100,000 to 200,000 square foot projects don’t have,” Doyle said. “There is a gap in the smaller markets and we hope to fill it.”

The new venture comes as Doyle says business demand is picking up in the city.

He recently met two companies “who are looking for smaller locations in Hamburg” but didn’t find anything, he told the IDA managing directors. Another is targeting expansion into a 150,000-square-foot building. All three want to own their buildings, with the smaller two requiring 3 to 5 acres and the other 15.

“I’m giving them the best options we have, but it’s not the right match they’re looking for,” he said. “It’s the availability of land that’s key.”

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