Tonawanda News

October 24, 2012

Company eyes Buffalo Bolt expansion

By Michael Regan
The Tonawanda News

NORTH TONAWANDA — A multi-national company that has had a manufacturing facility in North Tonawanda since the 1960s proposed an expansion into the Buffalo Bolt Business Park Tuesday to the common council.  

The company,  Armstrong Pumps, is located on East Avenue and has tendered an offer of $40,000 to the city for the remaining three parcels in the park, which encompass a little over 8 acres. The company manufacturers a variety of pumps for residential, commercial and industrial properties. 

Jerry J. Najuch, logistics manager for Armstrong, said the company that employes 148 people in the Lumber City has outgrown its current 110,000-square-foot facility, which he described as old and outdated and somewhat of a relic of the Roblin Steel heydays. 

He mentioned that expanding into the park could create an additional 25 to 50 jobs locally. 

“We’re here to stay and grow,” Najuch told the council. 

While city officials are pleased to have interest in the business park, they’ve also received other queries about the land. 

Mayor Rob Ortt said from his viewpoint whatever ends up there has to tie in with the big picture envisioned for the space, which includes having strong economic benefits along Oliver Street as well as being a steady engine of job creation. 

He said he also is concerned about lag time between the formulation of an agreement and when construction would ensue, citing another company that has come into the fold within the park, Aquasol Corporation. 

“We’re looking at this as prime business real estate and were trying to regenerate the area,” Ortt said. “You want somebody in there doing something, not just purchasing it on spec. That’s a good position for the city to be in but we want the right fit.” 

Najuch said that demand and sales for the company’s product has grown domestically, despite the the fact that there are several other facilities in China, India and Canada.  

He also mentioned forming coalitions with Taylor Devices and Aquasol — the two other companies that have already committed to the park — for possible green initiatives and the area’s overall layout, including road design. 

Council members Nancy Donovan and Eric Zadzilka expressed interest in touring the current facility, while Lumber City Development Corp. Director Richard Tindell said he’d like to meet with Armstrong to hash out a more thorough vision. 

The fact that the company’s current property adjoins the business park also raises the possibility that it could be absorbed into it. 

“Their property backs up to the business park on the north side of it,” said Michael Zimmerman, of the LCDC. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.

 

 

 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.