July 31, 2013

Imperial Mill reuse a local success

PLATTSBURGH — Congressman Bill Owens saw a prime example of facility reuse Tuesday morning when he toured the 500,000-square-foot Imperial Industrial Park.

About 30 companies have space in the facility, Property Manager David Bray said. At last count, around 235 people held jobs there.

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This shows “you can invest in some of these old structures,” Bray said.


About 70 to 80 percent of the tenants have some form of Canadian relationship, Bray said. Several of them support Nova Bus and Bombardier. 

Bombardier and one of its logistics providers, Key Logistics Solutions, now use about 120,000 square feet in the building. Bray said that could increase to 160,000 square feet.

Making sure U.S.-content provisions remain part of transit authority contracts for major cities is crucial to keeping manufacturing jobs at Bombardier and Nova Bus in Plattsburgh, Owens said.

“That’s what’s driving the trains and buses (made there),” he said.

Working to keep the area attractive to Canadian companies is also key, Owens said, which is why he keeps an eye on any issues that could hinder crossing the border.

“It is very important to keep the border fluid. We think we’ve really killed the entire idea of putting a fee to cross the border in place.”

The next steps to help revive the economy will be to tackle sequestration and the debt ceiling, Owens said.

“We need to get those issues resolved in a sensible way,” he said.


The leased space amounts to about 80 percent of what’s available at the Industrial Park, but the remaining 20 percent includes the area where a massive wallpaper manufacturing machine was located. It will be difficult to find a way to use that without a total reconstruction, as it contains a huge opening for the machine, Bray said.

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