Rich Products buys industrial site near headquarters in $1.05M deal

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Rich Products Corp. is adding to its real estate holdings near its West Side headquarters campus, snapping up a former manufacturing complex down the street that used to make gears.

The nondairy products company, through its Jenesis Development affiliate, paid $1.05 million to buy the former A.F. Oliver Gear & Machine Co. buildings at 1112-1114 Niagara St. from the subsidiary of Gear Motions. It was originally listed for $1.45 million.

The L-shaped property on the west side of the street includes 32,000 square feet of building space on 1.13 acres of land, overlooking the Niagara River in back, according to a listing by Hanna Commercial Real Estate brokers Joseph Deck and Scott Mason. The property is zoned for light manufacturing and located in an Opportunity Zone, across from Allied Mechanical and less than a block from Rich’s corporate offices.

The purchase includes a 19,380-square-foot, art deco-style building constructed in 1931. The property also includes a 12,600-square-foot light industrial building, with a 2,180-square-foot office.

Gear Motions, which supplies cut and ground gears for original equipment manufacturers around the world, is working with Zaepfel Development to build a 55,943- square-foot manufacturing facility on vacant land on Pirson Parkway in Tonawanda, adjacent to the Youngmann Expressway, to bring
Oliver Gear and its other divisions under one roof.

Another Niagara Street deal Meanwhile, further down the street, Buffalo investor Dr. Ezra Bernstein’s JZ Niagara LLC of Buffalo paid $865,000 to buy a two story mixed-use building at 465 Niagara St. from investor T. Giles Kavanagh’s Berner LLC.

The 9,804-square-foot tan brick commercial building with red accents features six first-floor storefronts and six upstairs apartments, all leased, with a large rear lot for parking or redevelopment. It was built in 1916, on just shy of a halfacre of land.

Tenants include Boost Mobile, Lycramobile, Kings of the West and Karibu Market. Bernstein is a Buffalo native who attended the University at Buffalo for two years before transferring to Brandeis University , where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology and then a medical degree from the University of California-Los Angeles.

He also co-founded Aura Media AI, an online media company which
uses advanced technology for publishers to measure video image and sound content frame-by-frame so that advertisers can target users
more precisely.

Bernstein said he recently sold some residential properties in South Buffalo, and used a tax-free exchange under federal law to invest in the Niagara property, his first mixed-use venture. He plans to renovate two of the residential units and the commercial space.

“That area, I just feel, is in the early parts of revitalization,” he said, citing the infrastructure work along Niagara and conversion of La-Salle Park into the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park, as well as the proximity to D’Youville College, Allentown, the Elmwood Village and downtown Buffalo. “I hope it continues to be on the rise.” Bernstein also said he hopes to eventually do a new residential project on the triple lot in back, although his initial plans are for a community park. “I’m still open at this point,” he said.

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