Lakewood plant owners OK’d for improvement loan

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon Lexington Machining, LLC plans to do improvements so this building can have manufacturing in it.

The owners of a former recycling plant in Lakewood have been approved for a loan to make further improvements.

During the Chautauqua County Industrial Development meeting Tuesday, board members approved a $218,900 loan to Lexington Machining, LLC. The loan will be for seven years at 4% interest.

Project Manager Carol Rasmussen discussed the company’s plans. They want to buy two AirVac units.

“The reason they are installing these two AirVac units is to get the facility up for manufacturing,” she said.

The building formerly held Premier Lakewood Inc., which closed its doors on May 6, 2014, displacing 75 employees. Economic reasons were cited for the closure. The plant had been in Lakewood since 1946. The company used to recycle aluminum for automobiles and other commodities.

Rasmussen said Bush Industries rents part of the building, although they don’t have a long term lease right now.

“Bush is excited for them getting this building ready for manufacturing. They’re very happy there. They’re on a month to month lease, but eventually they would like to get on a permanent lease. This will help Bush, plus any other lessee that will come forward, as the building is not really ready for manufacturing,” she said.

Rasmussen said Lexington Machining has invested about $1 million into the property.

“They’re very serious about this. They’ve put new lighting in there, new roofing, new units, new doors. They’re very adamant about keeping this building and leasing it,” she said.

The company had tried selling the building last fall. In October, the county IDA Board of Directors approved ZTS Development a $400,000 loan as part of its funded needed to buy the plant. That company was owned by Allen Steinberg, who bought the former Carriage House Warehouse in Fredonia, along with a number of other businesses in the northern end of the county.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Mark Geise, county IDA director and chief executive officer, confirmed that ZTS Development’s attempt to buy the building didn’t go through. He didn’t elaborate.

Rich Dixon, county IDA chief financial officer, said the building has had environmental issues in the past.

“There’s no active remediation going on but there is active monitoring and reporting yearly and that has scared away a few buyers,” he said.

The county IDA Board of Directors unanimously approved the money as an Al Tech loan.

In a separate Al Tech loan, the IDA approved a $250,000 loan to MKJM, LLC, doing business as The Landmark.

The Landmark Restaurant, which is located at 516 W. Fourth St., Jamestown, had been approved for a $250,000 CARES Act loan, which was provided to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. IDA officials said one of the requirements for the CARES Act loan was that work needed to be done by June. The Landmark was using the money for its new outdoor dining space, but the work was delayed due to supply chain issues.

IDA officials said the Al Tech loan will be for 10 years at 2.44% interest, which was the same terms as the CARES Act loan.


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