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Benderson Development Co. has snapped up the giant former American Axle & Manufacturing facility on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga for nearly $2.4 million, taking advantage of the site's location and size for possible industrial or retail uses in the future.

Eric Recoon, vice president of the development firm, confirmed that Benderson acquired the 16.09-acre property at 2799 Walden, calling it an "opportunity purchase" because it has a "large building in very good condition" at "a terrific intersection."

He said the site, which originally housed a Builders Square store before American Axle bought it, offers flexibility to consider different uses. It's located at the intersection of Dick Road and Walden Avenue, across from the HSBC Bank USA facility that used to house the bank's mortgage operation, and just north of the Depew Amtrak train station.

Benderson, acting through Buffalo Walden Dick Rd LLC, paid $2.375 million for the property, which includes a two-story, 130,000-square-foot industrial warehouse facility, with one grade-level overhead door and two loading docks. The building, which has an 11,000-square-foot office and 450 parking spaces, was constructed in 1990 for Price Club, but was taken over by Builder's Square in 1991. It was later acquired by Uniland Development Co., and then sold to American Axle for $5.6 million and renovated in 2000, when American Axle opened its plant.

Originally listed for sale at $5.5 million and then reduced to $4 million, the property has been on the market since early this year, after Detroit-based American Axle closed it down, along with another plant in Michigan, on Feb. 26. The closing of the company's last plant in Western New York resulted in 88 layoffs.?

email: jepstein@buffnews.com