Dimension Fabricators is buying the former Super Steel plant and 21 surrounding acres in the Glenville Business and Technology Park.
The $5 million deal is expected to close this month and bring 25 jobs to the area within three years, according to Dimension CEO Scott Stevens. The news comes just six weeks after Dimension received approval from the Schenectady Planning Commission to add a building to its Maxon Road Extension site.
When Stevens began to price out the expansion, he found that the estimated $2.5 million investment would have resulted in only an incremental improvement that still would have left the company under five roofs — its four buildings on Maxon Road Extension totaling 49,000 square feet and a 50,000-square-foot site at the former Alco plant on Erie Boulevard.
“He would have run out of land at some point,” said Ray Gillen, Metroplex Development Authority chairman and commissioner of economic development and planning for Schenectady County.
Metroplex had shown the Super Steel building to Stevens a year ago, Gillen said.
Purchasing the 152,000-square-foot facility in Glenville sparks a process of consolidation for Dimension, which will sell the Maxon Road Extension location, Stevens said.
Dimension expects to begin production in Glenville by March.
The maker of concrete reinforcing steel products has continued to grow in Schenectady County since 1984, when it opened in the Rotterdam Industrial Park. The company later moved to the old American Locomotive Co. campus, now known as the Nott Street Industrial Park, in 1988. Ten years later the company moved to a building on Maxon in 1998.
Employment has doubled in recent years from 30 to 60 workers as Dimension provided materials for the Interstate 95 widening project in New Haven, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Boston Central Artery project and local projects such as construction at Albany Medical Center.
The expansion comes at time the steel industry continues to see consolidation, putting Dimension in the awkward position of being in competition with its suppliers, which are steel mills.
“There are fewer of us and those that are left are bigger,” he said.
Stevens said he is being conservative with growth projections, though business has been favorable. As 2009 comes to a close, the company has seen a 20 percent jump in sales.
Site was Super Steel
Dimension’s move follows misfortune for another company, Super Steel, which shut down operations in April. The supplier to locomotive manufacturers felt the back end of a sharp decline in orders, according to William Carr, Super Steel’s former plant manager. He is helping Dimension move.
“For Dimension, it’s a great facility for what they’re going to do,” Carr said.
The Galesi Group said it will buy an additional nine acres of land from Super Steel to expand the Glenville Business and Technology Park, creating “one of the best shovel-ready sites in the Capital Region,” according to Galesi Group Chief Operating Officer David Buicko. Site cleanup finished in late summer and clean fill was added to level the site, he said.
The Schenectady County Industrial Development Authority met Wednesday morning and approved the project, granting an exemption from mortgage recording tax and sales tax for building materials and equipment to be used to improve the building. The deal also includes an extension of a payment in lieu of taxes agreement in place for Super Steel that will result in full payment of local property taxes for the five years when Dimension is eligible for real estate property tax credits, the agency said.
Schenectady County Legislator Susan Savage said while the pace of economic development has slowed around the country, the area continues to move forward, building on new of more jobs coming to the area from General Electric. Job creation as a key to growing the economy remains a focus, not just in downtown areas, which may be more visible, she said.
“This is an example of another homegrown company reinvesting in Schenectady County,” Savage said.