Automated Dynamics on Front Street is looking to move, and STS Steel on Nott Street is flirting with the idea as plans to develop Mohawk Harbor push forward.
Robert Langone, president of Automated Dynamics, said he is in discussions with the Galesi Group and the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority about moving out of their current location and into a new building in Schenectady.
“We haven’t been told to get out. We haven’t been forced out by this development,” Langone said. “We are just trying to understand what the new development will bring to this area and how we fit into it.”
The Galesi Group of Rotterdam is pursuing an ambitious revitalization plan for the former Alco site off Erie Boulevard that includes apartments, hotels, restaurants and a possible casino. The $450 million project is one of the largest Schenectady has seen in years.
Automated Dynamics sits next to the 60-acre site at 407 Front St. Langone said Galesi acquired the nearly 55,000-square-foot building about a month ago, and the company’s lease is up at the end of the year.
“We’re not looking to move. It’s an interruption and a distraction,” he said. “But if it makes the most sense for our business and for our landlord to have us relocate then we will relocate.”
Automated Dynamics specializes in the manufacturing of advanced composite structures, high-performance automation equipment and engineering services for aerospace and defense markets.
David Buicko, chief operating officer of the Galesi Group, said Langone has three options: He can choose to stay and renovate the existing space, relocate — possibly to the Hillside Commerce Park in Niskayuna — or move next door, on the Mohawk Harbor site.
Langone said he would prefer to move nearby so the company, which employs about 35, stays close to its customers and employees. Relocating could benefit the business in the long term, he said.
“The details are not finalized,” he said. “If we move, we’re not sure when. But it would provide us with the opportunity to better serve our needs.”
Buicko said if Automated Dynamics chooses to move out, the building would probably be demolished.
“The building needs substantial rehabilitation or it has to come down,” Buicko said. “We’ve worked with them to give them extra time to make a decision. We are doing everything we can to make sure [Langone] is happy and his employees are happy.”
Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen said the company was provided with a number of options to ensure it continues to grow in Schenectady. One of those options is moving on the Mohawk Harbor site, which will include office space.
“We will go the extra mile to make sure they have every opportunity to stay,” Gillen said. “We want tech companies at Mohawk Harbor, and this is a growing tech company.”
Like Automated Dynamics, STS Steel is also considering relocation. The steel fabrication company abuts the Mohawk Harbor site, occupying 70,000 square feet at 301 Nott St.
Glenn Tabolt, co-founder and president of STS, said he doesn’t want to move, but he’s concerned the manufacturing company wouldn’t fit in next to upscale housing and a casino.
“I think most people wouldn’t like our type of facility by nice housing next door,” he said. “I would prefer to stay in this building. It’s a great building, and it has become home for us.”
But Tabolt said even though he prefers to stay on the site, he would consider leaving if another location suited the company’s needs. STS has 60 employees and makes trusses, bridges, rail stations and lock gates for the state’s canals.
“If we didn’t fit in with the plans and there was a reasonable offer to continue our business and continue to grow, I would look at that,” he said.
Gillen said he is working with STS to identify other sites in Schenectady the company could move to. He stressed STS owns the building and can stay there.
“They have every opportunity to stay at that site,” Gillen said. “There are no issues with them staying there. At the same time, there are ongoing discussions about other locations.”
Buicko said plans for Mohawk Harbor work around STS and would not affect their business.
“We have designed all of our development to incorporate them and work around their building,” he said. “All of our site plans include them, and we will build around them."
The site was once occupied by the American Locomotive Company, when industrial manufacturing was booming in Schenectady.