Automated Dynamics has moved from the old Alco site to Niskayuna, a decision President Robert Langone says not only benefited the company but also the community.
The manufacturer moved to the Niskayuna Commerce Park this month as the Galesi Group is working to transform the 60-acre brownfield into Mohawk Harbor with a casino, housing, hotels, office and retail buildings and a manmade harbor.
The company’s old building on Front Street, positioned at the entrance to the site, will be demolished next month, according to David Buicko, CEO of Galesi.
“It will open the casino to Erie Boulevard,” he said. “That will make the casino more visible from the road. Landscaping and parking would go there in the future.”
Langone said it was difficult watching American Locomotive Co.’s buildings being demolished around Automated Dynamics to make way for the development, but he said it was time for a change.
“At no point did Galesi tell us that we had to leave,” said Langone of the building at 407 Front St., which he leased from Galesi. “It was obvious to me that the site would be better off if we were able to find a different location.”
The Rotterdam developer built Automated Dynamics a new 30,000-square-foot building at the commerce park off Hillside Avenue. Langone said the space would allow the business to grow.
Although the new building is smaller than the previous location, Langone said the layout allows the company’s 34 employees to do twice as much work.
“We moved to Front Street in 1990 and expanded there about five times,” he said. “Galesi designed this building completely around our needs and we wound up with a much more efficient space than we had before.”
Automated Dynamics makes and sells automation equipment and composite structures for a number of industries like aerospace, oil and gas, and research and development.
Langone said the company’s annual revenue, between $8 million and $9 million this year, would probably double in the new space. He expects to hire four employees by the end of the year. The new location could accommodate 50, he said.
Although 95 percent of the company’s customers are located outside New York, Langone said he was looking to keep the business local because of the employees.
He credited Galesi, along with the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority and the Capital Region Chamber, for aggressively working to keep the company in Schenectady County.
“When we evaluated where our employee base lives, this site was the best match of any site we came up with,” he said. “It also was positioned for us from Galesi in terms of price, timing and transitioning from the other space.”
Langone said he believes the $480 million Mohawk Harbor development is a significant investment for Schenectady.
“It was sad to see us losing architecturally what I viewed as a part of the area’s history,” he said. “But the site was deteriorating. This is an amazing step forward for the community.”
Buicko said Automated Dynamics’ building is the first built at the 100-acre Niskayuna Commerce Park. The park’s only other tenant is Unilux, which owns an exiisting building there.
“We’ve got a couple of proposals out there,” he said. “ Automated is the type of tenant we’re looking for. There is a lot of activity going on there. “
STS Steel is the only company left on the Mohawk Harbor site and is expected to stay there at this time. Galesi is working around the manufacturer and built a wall within the site separating it from the development.
The manufacturer employs 60 and makes trusses, bridges, rail stations and lock gates for the state’s canals. The company, which owns its building on site, has been there since 1989.
Also, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s small nuclear reactor is located on the site at the edge of the harbor along the Mohawk River. The facility is expected to stay at this time.
Construction is ongoing at Mohawk Harbor on the Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor along with a 206-unit apartment building and 124-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
The hotel will be the first to open in the fall, followed by the casino next March along with the apartments, office and retail, townhouses and possibly condominiums.