Frey the Wheelman on road to Cheektowaga

July 1, 2013 Updated Jul 1, 2013 at 7:23 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First Reporter

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Frey the Wheelman on road to Cheektowaga

July 1, 2013 Updated Jul 1, 2013 at 7:23 AM EDT

With a deal pending to sell its downtown Buffalo property to Uniland Development Co., Frey the Wheelman has found a Cheektowaga site to move its operations.

According to documents filed with the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Frey the Wheelman has a 5.77-acre parcel on Dick Road in Cheektowaga under contract and plans to construct a 15,000-square-foot building on the property. The project carries a $1.05 million development price tag and will see the company add three new employees after the move.

The county IDA's directors are expected to consider an abatement package for the project when they meet on July 15. A public hearing on the incentives being offered to Frey the Wheelman is set for July 9 in Cheektowaga Town Hall.

Frey's pending move to Cheektowaga comes after it has signed a deal with Uniland to acquire properties it owns on Ellicott and E. Tupper streets in downtown Buffalo. Uniland plans on renovating and expanding the Ellicott Street property into a 36,000-square-foot "hip" multi-tenant office complex geared towards attracting emerging or established companies that want a central business district location.

Uniland is expected to close on the Frey properties in July, paying $2 million for the parcels. Construction could start this fall, depending on negotiations with some likely tenants.

Frey, a wholesale distributor of heavy-duty truck parts and, also, provides repair services for fleet customers, has been looking for a different location for more than one year. Sites in Buffalo and Tonawanda were considered before settling on the Dick Road location.

In documents, Frey filed with the Erie County IDA, the majority of its customers are within a two-mile radius of the Dick Road site.

The IDA incentives, if approved, amount to $241,600 - mostly in the form of property, sales and mortgage recording tax breaks. In return, the new project could see a regional, community annual benefit of $2.114 million.

Construction on that project could start by late summer.

Frey dates back to 1907 and has been at its present location since the 1940.

Besides its Buffalo operation, Frey has locations in Syracuse, Elmira, Rochester and Watertown.

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