Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Transformation of an old radiator factory to a commercial-industrial business incubator, and a high-tech manufacturer’s new headquarters, is well under way on Walnut Street.
After a board meeting of Harrison Place’s owner, Greater Lockport Development Corporation, on Thursday morning, Harrison Place management led group tours of the mammoth complex. Special attention was drawn to Building 4, where Medina-based Trek Inc. is aiming to relocate its operations, and 72 employees, by early July.
Renovation of the first and second floors of Building 4 is in full swing. The interiors have been gutted, and the support columns between floors, once painted HRD’s signature blue, are primed and ready to accept a new color scheme. Drywall is going up at a rapid clip, breaking up 30,000 square feet per floor into manufacturing, office and meeting areas. As panels of ancient, yellowed, broken windows are pulled out and replaced, the outside of century-old Building 4 also is starting to look refreshed.
“It’s shaping up. You can start to see space defined,” GLDC President R. Charles Bell said.
Less visible is the growth of small business tenancies, and business expansions, at Harrison Place Building 2, east of Building 4. According to property manager Kevin Van Dusen, the first floor is completely filled and the second floor is nearly filled by warehouse users and start-up enterprises including a custom drink container maker, a machine repair shop and an auction house. The third floor is unoccupied presently.
At Building 1, which faces Washburn Street, the second floor is fully occupied by office-commercial tenants, Van Dusen said. The building is getting a new entrance, and bathroom facilities are being added on the first floor, which will be marketed as “premiere” space, Bell said.
Harrison Place building improvements have been made over time as money becomes available and/or a prospective anchor tenant like Trek surfaces. Bell says recovery of Building 3, the one that lines South Street and has an atrium, awaits the “right” proposal for its reuse, perhaps as loft/residential or hotel space.
At its business meeting, held in the Faery Auctions space in Building 2, the GLDC board approved agency spending of up to $11,000 on a Lockport marketing effort.
Bell pitched the purchase of an eight-page insert in Business First of Buffalo to showcase growing “momentum” in the city, as evidenced by the number of businesses forming or expanding in the Locks District, Trek moving into Harrison Place and Diversified Manufacturing Inc. undertaking expansion in the west end.
The insert will cost $4,175 if paid-advertising minimums are met, and more if they’re not, Bell said. Editorial content would be created by the J. Fitzgerald Group, the city-based marketing agency, for a fee that’s still in negotiation, he added.