Ox Industries has sealed the deal with the Lewis County IDA on the purchase of the Center for Business.
Nighthawk Investments, LLC, a real-estate holding company for Ox Industries, of Hanover, PA, has finalized a $900,000 purchase of the Center for Business (former Climax Manufacturing facility) from the Lewis County Industrial Development Agency.
In 2018, the Lewis County IDA purchased the 165,000 square foot building from Carthage Specialty Paper. According to officials, the initial intent was to preserve the Climax building and provide a location for business opportunities in Lewis County. Since then, the Lewis County IDA renamed the building as the ‘Center for Business’ and created shared office space, as well as marketed the industrial space to multiple small businesses. Lewis County Economic Development/IDA, the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, and the Journal & Republican moved their offices to the Center for Business in Spring 2019, and Ox Industries has been leasing approximately half of the building for warehousing.
Ox Industries produces paperboard, paper tube and core, specialty paper, and protective packaging products. The company purchased Carthage Specialty Paper in October 2018, at the same time the Climax building was purchased by the LCIDA. Ox Industries has made significant investments in their Carthage facility in the last year, and the purchase of the building in Lowville will continue their commitment to growing their business in the North Country. Since their acquisition of Carthage Specialty Paper, Ox Industries has been looking into ways to expand operations through vertical integration and add jobs in the region. The Center for Business building, where they already occupy 80,000 square feet, provides the company an opportunity for future growth.
Eric Virkler, Executive Director of Lewis County Economic Development/IDA, comments that the sale of the building to Ox Industries occurred in a short period of time.
“We expect this to have a positive impact on the Lewis County economy. The initial goal for this building was to revitalize an existing building and provide opportunity for new business growth. The sale to Ox Industries definitely follows that plan” stated Mr. Virkler.
Joe Lawrence, Board Chairperson for the LCIDA, comments that the LCIDA Board of Directors was one-hundred percent in support of working with Ox Industries to provide the company an opportunity to grow in Lewis and Jefferson Counties.
As for the future of the Center for Business and the offices of Lewis County Economic Development/IDA, Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, and other shared office spaces, the LCIDA has seen the demand for space for small businesses. The organization is already in the planning stages to replicate the Center for Business in a different location to accommodate the growing needs of the community: flexible work space, business incubation space and private offices or workspaces for small businesses. Since May 2019, the LCIDA has seen significant interest in small spaces from local businesses at the Center for Business.
“We have already started to assess new locations and develop a plan for a future space where we can continue to create a business incubator and flexible office spaces for small businesses and individuals; we will essentially be moving the Center for Business to a new location,” stated Brittany Davis, Marketing & Communications Specialist at Lewis County Economic Development.
In the meantime, the Lewis County Economic Development/IDA office has agreed to a one-year lease at the building.