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Former Bernzomatic site in Medina bought and will be modernized for manufacturing

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 October 2018 at 2:48 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: The former Bernzomatic plant is pictured in 2014 after it was closed by its last tenant, Worthington Cylinders.

MEDINA – A new owner has purchased the former Bernzomatic complex from Newell Operating Company, a subsidiary of Newell Brands.

The manufacturing plant has 160,000 square feet and has been vacant since 2014. It was last used by Worthington Cylinders, which had 174 employees in Medina. The company closed the Medina plant in mid-2014 and shifted those operations to a Worthington site in Wisconsin.

Worthington bought Bernzomatic in 2011. Bernzomatic had operated in Medina since 1969, making torches.

Worthington makes cylinders for the torches in Wisconsin. The company closed its site in Medina and shifted the torch production to Wisconsin, where the company said it could do everything at one site, saving in transportation costs.

The building has sat empty for more than four years.

It has been purchased by Kyle Brent through his B360 Holdings LLC. Brent plans to upgrade and rehab the former manufacturing site.

“The entire site will be completely modernized so the building and complex can again accommodate a fully-functioning manufacturing operation and warehouse, if that’s what a tenant needs, and there will still be plenty of flex space for separate offices or a call center,” Brent said in a news release from the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

The main building is 160,000 square feet with ceiling heights ranging from 14 feet to 22 feet. There are two grade-level doors and 12 truck doors with levelers.

“The former Bernzomatic facility was designed and built to accommodate manufacturing,” said James Whipple, CEO of the Orleans Economic Development Agency. “There are very few buildings around anymore with high ceilings, multiple truck docks, rail access and expansion potential like this complex. And Kyle Brent knows exactly how to turn this property into a prime development site.”

There is rail access to the 33.85-acre site located at 1 Bernzomatic Drive in the Village of Medina, which is situated in both the towns of Ridgeway and Shelby.

“Kyle Brent’s restoration of the entire Bernzomatic complex means Medina will have more options,” said Medina Mayor Michael Sidari. “There continues to be a lot of interest in Medina as a place to do business. The village is committed to working with Kyle to implement his vision for the property. We want to do everything we can to work with him to bring more opportunities and jobs here.”

The location has been primarily used for industrial purposes since 1915. It was operated as a cannery and food processing center when it was purchased in 1969 by Birds-Eye. Bernzomatic, a division of Newell-Rubbermaid, later acquired the site to manufacture and distribute hand-held torches for soldering, welding and brazing.

Zoned industrial, with available infrastructure and access to low-cost hydropower, the site is located along Bates Road near the Medina Business Park, the largest shovel-ready business park in Western New York and the Finger Lakes.

“Having worked with Kyle on this project for quite some time, there is a lot to be optimistic about,” said Gabrielle Barone, Orleans EDA’s vice president of development. “With this complex sold and under the control of a successful businessperson like Kyle, I am confident this project will pay off with significant economic development.”

Kyle Brent’s company Brent Industries, home of KJ Motorsports and Outdoor Furnace Supply, will remain on Mountain Road in Middleport.

“The last two years of this acquisition have been a marathon, now it’s time to tackle modernizing Bernz,” Brent said. “This next phase is something I’ve really been looking forward to.”

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