Uniland and its associates were honored at the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Buffalo 2023 Awards Celebration and Annual Meeting. BOMA International is a global organization representing the owners and managers of all commercial property types, including nearly 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space. The BOMA Awards honor individuals and companies who exemplify outstanding leadership, achievement, and professionalism in the commercial real estate industry.
Uniland’s 8 Dona Street Spec Industrial/Warehouse Facility as Best New Industrial Development
As the first developer to work with Erie County and other public partners at Renaissance Commerce Park in Lackawanna, Uniland’s 8 Dona Street is a 150,000-square-foot single-story industrial building featuring 36’-40’ clear height and generous column spacing to serve as a hub for manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, and trucking operations. Today, the former Bethlehem Steel site is a burgeoning hub of commerce in Erie County.
In recent years, Uniland has sought to address the critical shortage of Class A industrial space in Western New York. This scarcity puts the region at a disadvantage over peer markets as Buffalo seeks to attract and retain businesses in this growing commercial real estate segment.
In early 2020, shortly before the Covid pandemic interrupted life worldwide, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s ILDC affiliate issued a request for proposals for a commercial developer to enter a public-private partnership for the purchase of a 9.2-acre parcel of the site and the subsequent development of a 150,000 SF flexible light manufacturing/warehouse facility. Led by Development Project Manager Sean Flury, Uniland responded to the proposal and was subsequently awarded the parcel on a new extension of Dona Street. Uniland purchased it in January 2021 and agreed to accept the financial risk of developing the new building without any preleasing.
Working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on environmental remediation with their Brownfield Cleanup Program, Uniland Construction performed the necessary site preparation and subsequent core and shell work under the veteran leadership of Vice President of Construction and Planning & Design David Reilly with Construction Manager Jeff Benderson overseeing the work.
Prior to the completion of the construction, Uniland announced its first tenant at the 8 Dona warehouse, Total Quality Assurance International (TQAI), would occupy 108,000 SF. Headquartered in Flushing, Michigan, TQAI specializes in Engineering, Logistics, Warehousing, Quality Control, Quality Inspection Services, Packaging and Rework for the automotive industry. TQAI established its Buffalo operations in 2011. In early 2023, a second tenant, Max Advanced Brakes, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, signed a lease for the remaining 42,000 square feet at 8 Dona. Established in 2010, Max Advanced Brakes is a retailer and distributor of automotive brake parts with a mission to make stopping power simple for consumers.
TQAI and Max Advanced Brakes were led in their move by Account Executive Craig Muni. Property Manager Alex Whipple supports the facility and tenants. Uniland is now leasing its neighboring industrial facility, 2 Steelworkers Way.
Uniland Property Manager Kevin Hassen Receives BOMA Distinguished Service Award
As Uniland associates and BOMA members know, property management is a challenging field. From working with owners, tenants, partners, and guests, there are many constituents to please and a host of challenges to address on a daily basis. A good day means one is only supporting regular operations and preventive maintenance. However, one can be grappling with service disruptions, major weather events, among many other emergencies on any given day.
For 38 years, Uniland Property Manager Kevin T. Hassen has been a dedicated steward of office buildings in Western New York and the greater Chicago area. As a young alumnus of Niagara University in 1985, he moved from an accounting role at a residential mortgage lender into the facility management realm as a Property Management Assistant Vice President with Brandywine Enterprises, Inc. Since then, Kevin has been a steady hand for owners, tenants, partners, and his colleagues.
A member of BOMA Buffalo since returning to Buffalo in 2007, Kevin is a Past President of the chapter, the longtime chair of its Awards Committee, and its regular photographer at its monthly meetings and events. He is a trusted advisor of BOMA Buffalo Executive Director Jennifer Aiple, his Uniland Property Management colleagues, and fellow BOMA members.
“Kevin has been a key team member at Uniland over the past decade,” notes Uniland Senior Property Manager Jennifer O’Connell. “His leadership with our Downtown portfolio, his mentorship to our junior staff, and his work to advance the profession across WNY with BOMA is remarkable and he is certainly worthy of recognition from BOMA for dedicated service to the profession and its people.”
In a robust career that included responsibility for the Boeing Company’s international headquarters—a 1 million SF complex at 100 N. Riverside Plaza—in downtown Chicago, to returning to Buffalo and managing the Electric Tower and other properties with Iskalo Development Corp., to Mr. Hassen’s current role at Uniland, as he manages over 1.2 million SF of the company’s most prominent Class A buildings downtown since 2014.
Under Kevin’s leadership, Uniland has entrusted him with Avant, The Delaware North Building, and HANSA workspace, as well as Uniland’s third-party management of Catholic Health’s 140,000 SF headquarters, among other prominent buildings across the Buffalo skyline. Collectively, the Downtown facilities he oversees are occupied and utilized by more than 1,000 people daily.