Industrial building in Central Falls sells for $1.85M

CENTRAL FALLS – The Buffinton Creative Packaging building at 575 Lonsdale Ave. was sold recently for $1.85 million, according to Sweeney Real Estate & Appraisal, which represented the former owner in the deal.

The 45,143-square-foot industrial building and the 1.78 acres of land it stands on were sold by Eighty Two Fifty Six Realty LLC to AOK Property Holdings LLC, according to a copy of the quitclaim deed, which is a public record made available online by the city.

Sweeney Real Estate identified the buyers as Andrew W. Kannan and Ana Clara de S.O. Kannan, who were represented in the deal by Century 21 Real Estate. Kannan is the CEO of a company called CannonKeys LLC, a Rhode Island-based firm specializing in the online sale of custom mechanical keyboards, which he established in 2019.

Eighty Two Fifty Six Realty is managed by Thomas J. Cavanagh, according to annual reports filed with the R.I. Secretary of State’s Office. Cavanagh is president of H-B Packaging Group, the high-end gift box and photography packaging company that was a longtime occupant of the 575 Lonsdale Ave. manufacturing plant since the company’s formation 21 years ago.

A representative of the former H-B Packaging Group said the company was acquired on Jan. 1 this year by the Pawtucket-based International Packaging Corp., a custom packaging company that’s also known as Interpak. H-B Packaging Group ceased operations at that time and three months later, the former box company’s assets and personnel were moved to International Packaging’s facility at 517 Mineral Spring Ave. in Pawtucket, said Ryan Cavanagh, product manager for Interpak, in an email.

International Packaging has about 150 employees after the acquisition, said Cavanagh, whose family owned and operated H-B Packaging Group. International Packaging is owned by a friend of the family, Cavanagh said. He added that H-B Packaging Group had 25 employees at the time of the acquisition.

H-B Packaging Group was the product of a 2001 merger between the F.H. Buffinton Co., previously of Providence, and the Hope Paper Box company, formerly of Cranston. H-B Packaging Group traces its roots back to 1876 when its larger predecessor was known as B.S. Buffinton, named after past owner Benjamin Slade Buffinton, of Swansea, who purchased a box-making plant located on Water Street in Warren, the business later moving to Providence where it long operated on Thurbers Avenue.

It was not immediately clear what plans CannonKeys has in store for the 575 Lonsdale Ave. building or whether the facility is already in use as part of the mechanical keyboard business.

Sweeney was unclear on whether the mechanical keyboard company is currently operating inside the Lonsdale Avenue building. CannonKeys declined to comment.

The Lonsdale Avenue property was last valued by Central Falls assessors in fiscal year 2022 to be worth a total of $755,000, according to the city’s online property records database. The one-story building, which comes with a 528-square-foot loading dock and a 16,000-square-foot paved parking area, was constructed in 1968, according to city records.