Canadian firm buys Albion warehouse for recycling operation

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 April 2013 at 12:00 am

30 jobs expected at site owned by Orleans EDA since 2002

Photo by Tom Rivers

A warehouse on McKinstry Street in Albion, which has sat mostly vacant the past 11 years, will be upgraded and turned into a site for electronics recycling. The company expects to add 30 jobs in the next three years.

ALBION – A Canadian company is working to acquire a long-vacant warehouse on McKinstry Street with plans to upgrade the property and turn it into a base for recycling electronics.

The company, BOMET Recycling, Inc., intends to hire 30 people for the site within three years. The company is led by Zhan “Bo” Zhang of Cambridge, Ontario. BOMET recovers metals from electronics and other recyclable materials and reported a $25 million revenue for its operation based in Canada, according to a report from the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

The Orleans EDA owns the property at 152 McKinstry St. The agency’s board today accepted a $176,000 offer from BOMET to buy the 52,000-square-foot property.

The company will spend about $700,000 in addition to the purchase price by replacing the roof, making other building upgrades and buying equipment for the Albion operation.

The EDA board also approved tax incentives that will save the company $94,347 over 10 years. The company will pay $61,034 in local taxes over the next decade as part of the tax agreement approved today.

The site currently isn’t generating any property tax for the village, town, school or county because the EDA has owned the property.

The EDA board approved a 10-year phase-in for property taxes. The company will have the full $13,563 abated the first year. Each year after that it will then pay 10 percent more of the taxes on a $300,000 assessed building until it’s at the full 100 percent.

BOMET also was approved for an $18,000 sales tax break and $1,750 abatement from the mortgage tax.

The change in building ownership will take a burden off the EDA. The agency purchased the warehouse and adjoining parking lot for $527,000 in February 2002.

At that time Washington Mutual was in expansion mode in Albion. The company needed lots of parking, and some local officials hoped WaMu would quickly run out of space at the former Dime Bank complex on East Avenue.

The EDA saw an opportunity next to WaMu with the warehouse and the agency bought it.

The parking lot has proven a need for WaMu, and its successor, JP Morgan Chase. But the big warehouse has been an albatross for the EDA, consuming about $25,000 to $30,000 in annual interest payments plus another $10,000 in utilities, lawn care, sprinkler inspections and other costs, said Jim Whipple, the EDA chief executive officer.

BOMET will have access to 15 of the parking spaces as part of the deal with the EDA. Whipple said he expects the deal to close soon with work starting on the building in the summer.