Schenectady

Transfinder plans to bring back 130 workers after expansion plans approved

An architectural rendering shows the Transfinder headquarters at 440 State St. in Schenectady and, next door, a proposed expansion at 438 State St. (IMAGE PROVIDED)

An architectural rendering shows the Transfinder headquarters at 440 State St. in Schenectady and, next door, a proposed expansion at 438 State St. (IMAGE PROVIDED)

SCHENECTADY — For the last two years, the Transfinder building in the heart of downtown has sat empty with staff working remotely due to the pandemic. Now, the building is set to expand.

The Planning Commission on Wednesday approved plans to demolish the vacant two-story Subway sandwich shop at 438 State St. to make way for a five-story, 10,000-square-foot expansion to the Transfinder headquarters located next door at 440 State St.

Transfinder CEO Antonio Civitella said the company has continued to see steady growth even throughout the pandemic, and though keeping staff remote was a possibility, it is not something he wanted. 

“We clearly can be extremely successful working remotely, but I don’t believe in that,” he said. “I believe we do need to be able to meet in person, collaborate — many ideas have come out of that building.”

Civitella said he is planning to bring back 130 employees in the future and the expansion will help create a new feel that will foster a creative environment for workers.

Transfinder constructed its headquarters at 440 State St. around 10 years ago. The building’s modern design, featuring balconies and a glass facade, makes it easy to spot in a downtown made up of mostly brick and stone buildings. 

The extension will be an extension of the current structure, which Civitella said he receives regular compliments about and allows visiting clients to see activity along the State Street corridor, which paints the business and city in a good light.

“It’s very nice, it’s pleasing, to show that there’s activity along State Street,” he said. We’ve had people from all over the world and it’s beautiful.”

The project was one of a handful approved by the Planning Commission last week that would dramatically alter the look of the downtown area.

Plans for Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital to create a 6,600-square-foot extension were also improved. The project would eliminate shared bedrooms of three and four and create a larger fitness facility ample natural light overlooking Rosa Road. 

By returning employees to a central campus, Transfinder is bucking a growing trend by a growing number of tech companies of embracing remote work, and a growing number of workers say they would prefer to work remotely.

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 60% of workers with jobs that can be done remotely would continue to work from home even after the pandemic. An increase from 54% during the same time in 2020. 

In addition, 78% of those currently working from home all or most of the time would like to continue to do so after the pandemic, an increase from 64% in 2020, according to the survey of 10,237 U.S. adults completed between Jan 24-30. The survey’s margin of error was 1.5 percentage points.  

The survey also found that 64% of workers reported an easier work/llife balance, but that 60% of workers felt less connected to co-workers. 

Meanwhile, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority will weigh providing Transfinder $150,000 to support the demolition cost of the structure at 438 State St. 

“We’re happy to be involved with this project and are very proud of the whole Transfinder team,” said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen. “The employment base and the sales and revenue keep growing every year. It’s a real Schenectady success story.”

Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: 518-410-5117 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.  

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