Handbag firm set to open State Street site in Schenectady

A maker of boutique handbags is opening an office and production facility on lower State Street, wit

A maker of boutique handbags is opening an office and production facility on lower State Street, with plans to create 40 jobs through 2013.

Madison Handbags purchased the former district office of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, which occupied the building until about a year ago, for an undisclosed sum. The property at 131 State St. has a full market value of $625,000. The Girl Scouts bought the property in 2005 for $460,000, according to property records with Schenectady County.

The Metroplex Development Authority is providing a $40,000 grant to the company, which will use it to improve the building’s exterior. Madison will pay full property taxes on the formerly exempt building, said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen. The building contains 9,000 square feet.

The Schenectady location will be the company’s second manufacturing site in the Capital Region. Madison will continue to make handbags in Troy, where it started operations in 2005, according to Trish Rost, company president and founder. The company’s Troy factory produces more than 75,000 handbags a year.

“Now more than ever American made products and manufacturing are the key to economic growth. Our company mission has always been to provide opportunities for women, professionally, financially and socially, and we are honored to be working toward that vision here in Schenectady,” Rost said in a news release.

The company did not respond to a phone call for comment.

Gillen said Rost decided to expand in Schenectady because she liked the site and its proximity to the Capital District Transportation Authority’s rapid transit line.

“It’s a good use of the Girl Scouts’ building,” Gillen said.

Madison sells products through a network of more than 500 independent design consultants in more than 40 states.

“We continue to welcome growth and expansion with excitement and determination, while also staying loyal to the network of home sewers who were there from the beginning and helped establish our success,” Rost said on her website.

“As the company grows and brand name recognition spreads across the country, we remain humbled and thrilled by the reaction of so many who love our bags,” she said.

Gary Hughes, chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature’s Committee on Economic Development and Planning, said, “Madison Handbags is a hot brand that has a national customer base. This is a fantastic use for a key building on lower State Street.”

Acting Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “We welcome Madison Handbags and its great success story to Schenectady … We are grateful for their decision to open a facility in our community.”

Gillen said the arrival of Madison on lower State Street will help with that area’s redevelopment.

Categories: Business

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