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A pressing investment in real estate and equipment

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small building, big investment

Gilbane Building Co. has seen many construction projects for over 150 years. But rarely do you have to build a relatively small building with the mechanical and structural capacity to handle a two-story, 295-tonne press to grind minerals into ceramic powder.

This is what the company had to do for Cermet last year in Buffalo. Cermet Corporation is an industrial manufacturer that specializes in producing transparent ceramics for armor, aircraft reconnaissance windows, sensor windows, lenses, and other purposes for the United States Department of Defense, Air Force and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

cermet crane

Gilbane Building Co. used the crane to partially lift a 295-ton ceramic press into a new building built for Surmet Corp. on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo.


Burlington, Massachusetts-based Surmet, which has operated a 75,000-square-foot plant at 699 Hertel Ave. in Buffalo since 2002, received funding from the Air Force in 2018 to produce transparent ceramics. built an integrated facility. The company hired his Gilbane to build a 3,400-square-foot specially designed extension facility to house the new production furnace and the largest customized press of its kind in North America.

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The $14.5 million project, funded by the company and the government, also included upgrading existing infrastructure and refurbishing remaining production facilities. But two-thirds of his costs were equipment that needed to be lifted into the building in pieces with overhead cranes. The expansion will also create new specialized engineering and manufacturing jobs.


On Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, Dr. Santosh Jah, Director of Operations for Sermet, mingles outside the just-completed 3,400-square-foot building in a residence dedicated to U.S. Department of Defense contracts. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

Santosh Jha, Director of Operations at Surmet, said:

The project started in August 2021 and finished in July 2022, despite pandemic-related supply chain challenges.


John Cleary of the Gilbane Building (left) and Dr. Santosh Jha, Director of Operations for Surmet, mingle outside a 3,400-square-foot building dedicated to U.S. Department of Defense contracts, Wednesday, September 28, 2022. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

“This is a great project and our partnership with Santosh and Surmet has made it a really fun one,” said John KS Cleary, Gilbane’s Senior Project Executive for Upstate New York and head of the Buffalo office. I’m here. “During Covid and supply chain issues, this project is a bright star for us. With a 10-ton crane and a very large truss overhead, we had some unique items.”

want to know more? Three stories to catch up with you:

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Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News brings you the latest coverage of the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to healthcare to startups.but read more Buffalo Next.com.

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Albright Knox Northland (copy)

The building at 612 Northland Avenue, the former site of the Albright Knox Northland Gallery, is undergoing further renovations.

John Hickey/Buffalo News

what: Buffalo Urban Development Corporation will receive $14.4 million of the $25 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant awarded to Western New York by Empire State Development Corporation from the U.S. Economic Development Agency. The funds will be used for the Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project spearheaded by BUDC on Buffalo’s East Side.

Please tell me the details: The federal fund bears the costs of:

• Renovation of a 44,000 square foot industrial building at 541 E. Delavan Ave.; Includes new ‘green’ infrastructure for significant environmental cleanup, field work, stormwater management, rooftop solar energy systems, and battery storage systems. This work will prepare the building for one or more future tenants and can support 90 jobs when full.

• Renovated the 10,000 square foot “B” building at 612 Northland Avenue to provide leasable space for one or two tenants and create approximately 30 jobs. His 15,000-square-foot “A” portion of the building was previously renovated.

• Implementation of clean energy microgrids, including new energy generation and storage facilities.

• Construction of a new 120-car parking space at 714 Northland and a south parking lot adjacent to the Northland Central Building at 683 Northland.

Work must begin within 24 months and finish within 48 months, but must be completed by May 28, 2027 at the latest.

Important reasons: This funding will cover the majority of the $18 million work planned for multiple buildings on the Northland campus. The campus is supported by the West New York Workforce Training Center and the Buffalo Manufacturing Works. The remaining $3.6 million will be paid by the state through BUDC.

heads up

Erie County is reopening Inlem For the first time since 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the tax foreclosure auction will be held again, with nearly 1,000 properties set to go up for public sale on Oct. 6.

Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and the Western New York Law Center are committed to helping affected homeowners and tenants identify their rights and the resources available to assist them before they may lose their homes. I want to make sure I understand.

“Property owners who are behind on their taxes and tenants who may be evicted because of their landlord’s unpaid taxes are eligible for free assistance,” Kearns said.

A complete list of properties slated for auction can be found on the Erie County Property Tax Service website. erie.gov/ecrptsHomeowners facing tax foreclosure can call the Legal Center at extension 716-855-0203. 124. Residents who fear eviction may call the WNY Eviction Program at 844-230-7376.

“If your home sells at auction, there may be surplus funds you can apply for and we can help you with that process,” said Kate Lockhart, director of the Law Center’s Vacant Homes and Abandoned Properties Program. I’m here.

up to date

Recent News Related to Buffalo Niagara’s Economy

Employees at food supplier Sysco in DePuy and elsewhere in upstate New York went on strike to protest what they described as unfair labor practices.

Developer Douglas Jemal wants to demolish the building on Ellicott Street As part of his plans, he has brought over 600 apartments and retail spaces to the neighborhood.

Converting old record theater properties The Monroe on Main Street has started.

M&T Bank remains the largest regional bank, Measured in total deposits, not even close to it.

Natale Development completes work on $5.6 million project Renovate the former Aldrich and Ray Manufacturing Company building on Niagara Avenue.

Sinatra & Co. sells one of its first big investments Buffalo Niagara Real Estate – Fenton Village Apartments.

Gear up: Home heating costs are expected to jump 50% this winterNational Fuel Gas predicts.


5 readings from Buffalo Next:

1. The Buffalo Niagara housing market has cooled slightly, but But compared to other US markets, it’s holding up well.

2. The Kaleida Health Authority: State Funding to Shrink Huge Deficits This Fiscal YearIt doesn’t happen. Money has already been talked about.

3. Made by WNY: Cut plastic from junk free skin bath products: With this new technology, Junk Free Skin has reduced the use of plastic in its personal care products by more than 80%, says owner Tom Akers.

Four. How Sponsorships Bring Big Money To Sports Teams, Corporate Marketing Opportunities: For companies, it is an opportunity to use professional sports teams as marketing tools. For the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabers, this is a way to bring in more marketing revenue.

Five. Buffalo Niagara job market got back on track in Augustjobs resumed at the fastest pace since March, easing concerns that surfaced after the July jobs report showed job losses across the region.

The Buffalo Next team provides a complete picture of regional economic revitalization. Buy a building? Property redevelopment? Any tips? Contact Jonathan D. Epstein, a reporter for Real Estate & Development, at his 716-849-4478 or email us at: [email protected].

Email tips [email protected].

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