AMSTERDAM — An existing customization and fabrication shop in the area will expand its footprint at a new location with room for growth on Forest Avenue following approval from the Planning Board.
Capital Region Customs out of Fort Johnson has been offering machining, metal fabrication and powder and ceramic coating services since 2011. Now the business has outgrown its current 1,600-square-foot shop, according to owner Michael Wood.
Wood briefed the Planning Board on Wednesday on Capital Region Customs’ plans to purchase an existing commercial property at 203 Forest Ave. A portion of the property currently owned by artist Jeffrey Bisaillon was most recently used as a workshop for Jbis Art.
The site includes three existing structures. Capital Region Customs would operate out of the 5,000-square-foot garage-style building located closest to the road on the 4.18-acre property.
“I’m really looking forward to the extra space,” Wood said.
All customization and fabrication work would be performed inside the workshop with appropriate air filtration systems to contain materials involved in the process. There would be no outdoor activities or storage other than exterior parking.
Capital Region Customs is expected to have limited traffic with one to three employees anticipated initially during operating hours weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The business focuses on precision work with quick turnaround times.
Although the application submitted to the board dealt only with plans for the reuse of the garage, Wood noted that the pair of deteriorating structures located at the rear of the Forest Avenue property would initially be secured to prevent any entry and eventually demolished.
“I definitely don’t want to have any hazards on my hands,” Wood said. “I want to get them down as soon as possible. They’re not an eyesore yet, I see the siding has fallen off in some places, I can kind of doctor that up to keep grounds around that presentable.”
The demolitions would be performed sometime after the business is up and running at the new location. A pair of steel structures on the same footprint could eventually be constructed for use by Capital Region Customs or to be leased out as commercial spaces.
“Hopefully, either occupy them myself if business goes as well as I hope it does and use the space. If not, it’s a great opportunity to do some commercial leasing,” Wood said. “I just want to get in that front building so I can continue my business and get some revenue going.”
The Planning Board determined the reuse of the existing property for light manufacturing would not have any significant impact under State Environmental Quality Review and approved the site plan and special use permit applications for Capital Region Customs.
“I think it’s fantastic, the reuse of the building,” Planning Board member Michael Palumbo commented. “Congratulations on the new venture, I’m really excited for it.”
Reach Ashley Onyon at [email protected] or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.
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