A growing 76-year-old trucking and logistics company that was started just after World War II is now seeking to renovate 21 old manufacturing buildings in the Town of Tonawanda to gain significantly more space for warehouse and distribution, just around the corner from its Kenmore Avenue headquarters.
Speed Global Services, owned by Carl Savarino, is buying eight acres of industrial property on Vulcan Street near the Tonawanda-Buffalo border, with more than 176,399 square feet of existing buildings that have been vacant for at least five years.
As part of the $ 7.145 million project, it wants “to bring them back to life and back to the tax rolls by doing major repair and investment,” according to an application for tax relief to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.
Through its Carrier Terminal Services Inc., the company wants to keep and renovate 98% of the space at 380, 400, 408 and 416 Vulcan St. to grow its business.
Project costs include $ 1.35 million for acquisition of the eight-acre property and buildings, $ 5.3 million for renovation of 137,997 square feet of building space, $ 460,000 in furniture and fixtures, and $ 35,000 in professional fees. Funding would come from $ 1.35 million in company equity and $ 5.3 million in bank loans.
People are also reading…
It is asking the ECIDA to help out by providing $ 302,750 in sales tax relief, $ 40,481 in mortgage-recording tax incentives and a property tax break.
The property, which is currently under contract, consists of the former manufacturing plant for hand-tool maker JH Williams Tool Co. – now Snap-On – and was later used for warehousing and distribution by Morgan Materials, until that company left in 2016. Located next to General Motors Co.’s Powertrain Plant, the sprawling site consists of 21 buildings constructed in 1920, 1950, 1952 and 2006.
Speed Global has already obtained new certificates of occupancy for two of the buildings, totaling 38,402 square feet, but the rest of it remains unoccupied and in need of “major repair and updates to meet code,” the company wrote in its application. Plans call for using 165,399 square feet of warehouse space, and about 5,000 square feet for offices.
The projects will include structural repairs to the columns and roof, while replacing roofing and siding to close in gaps in the building that are open to the weather, helping prevent water damage and further deterioration. The buildings also need new mechanical systems, a new sprinkler The front parking lot will also be repaved, while green space will be added.
If approved, construction could begin immediately, but the work would be performed in phases, with initial occupancy by Speed in February 2023 and completion by the end of that year. Speed also intends to install pallet racking and to purchase forklift trucks. The project would retain six jobs and create two part-time and three full-time positions, with average salaries of $ 40,000 to $ 48,000, according to the ECIDA application.
Speed officials said the ECIDA help is critical to reducing the overall cost and risk of the project, citing “the current economy affecting the supply chain and the cost of everything going up.” Without it, the company might either wait until the cost and interest rates come down “or cancel the project as a whole.”
“The amount of repairs needed to bring these buildings back to life is three times the purchase price,” the company said.
The ECIDA will hold a public hearing on the matter June 27 in the Town of Tonawanda’s town board conference room, at 2919 Delaware Ave., and will accept public comments through July 26.