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RAV buys, plans to improve Salina Industrial Powerpark

By Jewél Jackson



SALINA — In August, RACER Trust announced the sale of a multi-tenant industrial park, which was formerly a General Motors (GM) manufacturing plant, to Jamesville–based RAV Properties.

The Salina Industrial Powerpark features an 805,860-square-footage main building with a separate 14-acre shovel-ready site; the property totals 78.5 acres. The park currently has 13 tenants that employ 425 people. Robert Lieberman, founder and managing member of RAV Properties, says the park could house three to four more tenants. 

Before its transformation into an industrial park, the property originally was a GM automotive plant that began operations 1952 but closed in 1993. In 2011, RACER Trust took title to the Salina property following the GM bankruptcy and continued to operate it as a multi-tenant industrial park. Despite the property being a revenue generator for RACER, the purpose of RACER is to sell properties not to hold them, the trust said in a news release. 

RACER (Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response) Trust was created to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and facilities owned by the former GM before its bankruptcy.

Lieberman, who owns a second industrial complex on Thompson Road in the town of DeWitt, founded RAV Properties in 2008. Before becoming an investor, Lieberman started as a property manager but found that he would rather have “ownership than be an employee.” 

In 2010, RAV Properties purchased and improved a two-building complex, once known as Flickinger’s Warehouse, near Carrier Circle in DeWitt. The complex, which has been home to various businesses since 1998, totals 290,000 square feet. 

CNYBJ recently chatted with Lieberman about his latest purchase.

“The time is right to make this acquisition,” he says. With 70 percent of the current space occupied, Lieberman believes the Salina Industrial Powerpark is in a great position for future growth. 

“The fact that RAV Properties is locally based and understands the Central New York market so well gives us confidence that the property is in good hands and will continue to be a source of jobs and opportunity for the community,” Elliot P. Laws, of EDPLET, LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust, said in the release.

Lieberman also says that despite the presence of COVID-19, most tenants’ businesses at Salina Industrial Powerpark were deemed essential and business has not been impacted. 

However, the 70-year-old industrial park is in need of some maintenance repair, says Lieberman. He says he wants to repair the roof, update fire safety and sprinkler system, and to increase curb appeal. 

“As investments, these are both pretty solid,” Lieberman says of his two industrial parks. However, he says that this will be his last investment. 

Lieberman declined to disclose the purchase price of the property and would not provide any financial information for his business.

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