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Former Lakewood Recycling Plant Being Purchased

New Ownership

Pictured is the plant of the former Lexington Machining LLC. P-J photo by Gregory Bacon

The owner of the former Carriage House warehouse in Fredonia is taking ownership of another closed plant in Chautauqua County.

During a recent meeting of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the board approved a $400,000 AL Tech Revolving Loan Fund loan for ZTS Development to purchase real estate located at 201 Winchester Road in Lakewood, which was formerly owned by Lexington Machining, LLC. ZTS Development plans to lease the building as manufacturing space and says that $1.1 million will be invested in the project.

Premier Lakewood Inc. closed its doors on May 6, 2014, displacing 75 employees. Economic reasons were cited for the closure. At that time it was owned by Premier Tool and Die Cast Corporation of Michigan. The plant had been in Lakewood since 1946. Premier Lakewood Inc. purchased the company from Lexington Die Casting in 2005. Lexington Die Casting, which had owned the plant since 1992, set to close the factory for good, until it was purchased by Premier Tool and Die Cast Corp.

The company used to recycle aluminum for automobiles and other commodities.

During the recent county IDA meeting, officials noted that the building is mostly vacant, except for a 4,000-square-foot month-to-month lease.

Allen Steinberg is the owner of ZTS Development LLC, which purchased the former Carriage House in November of 2015, after it closed the year before. He has a loan through the county IDA for the former factory and officials said he in good standing.

Steinberg has purchased a number of closed businesses, particularly in the northern end of the county. In an interview with the OBSERVER in 2016, he had shared that he was the owner of Rookie’s on the Lake, Rosie’s Red Hots, the Kettle & Keg, the former Yellow Goose convenience store on Lake Shore Drive (all in Dunkirk) and the Stockton Grill in Stockton. Some of those businesses are open today, while others are not. The county IDA did not discuss any of his operations during its board meeting, minus Carriage House.

One of the issues the IDA asked about was if there were environmental issues with the former Lexington plant. “We’ve been very, very involved with the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) for the past seven years on this property,” said Richard Dixon, IDA chief financial officer.

He noted the remediation is basically completed. The DEC is still doing groundwater testing, which continues to improve.

According to Dixon, environmental issues stopped the property from being sold four different times, however Steinberg had a lengthy meeting with DEC officials and he is comfortable with the purchase of the property.

The resolution to authorize the loan was unanimously approved.

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