LANSING, N.Y. – Coming soon: new digs and, potentially, new jobs. Three local technology firms are planning expansions in the Cornell Business and Technology Park in the Village of Lansing.
Advion Biosciences, Ecolectro Inc., and Conamix Inc. are each planning expansions into renovated space at 61 Brown Rd. The companies have signed 10-year leases with B&T Visions, a holding company owned by local businessman Phil Proujansky, who is the managing partner of Integrated Acquisitions and Development (IAD). Readers might be familiar with Proujansky from his role as a business partner with major Ithaca landlord John Novarr. Proujansky and IAD built out most of the Cornell Business Park over the past 35 years.
As part of the deal, Proujansky’s firm will spend about $3 million to renovate 13,818 square feet of an existing office building at 61 Brown Rd. to create specialized lab spaces outfitted with fume hoods, dry rooms, and heavy-duty utility installations. The 38,835 square-foot building was left vacant when CBORD moved to the South Hill Business Campus a couple years ago, and Advion leased an initial 21,250 square feet of space starting last summer.
Advion Biosciences got its start in 1993, as a spin-off firm from a Cornell research lab. Advion designs and builds mass spectrometers, which are devices used to separate molecules, isotopes and molecular fragments for bio-pharmaceutical and industrial chemical companies. Its research and development team will move into the new space, while it will retain its space across the hall for other business functions. The firm employs 65, including 40 local jobs, all starting above a living wage.
Ecolectro is primarily a chemical research firm that develops cheaper, longer-lasting polymers for hydrogen fuel cells, water technologies, and other high performance systems. Their technologies are designed to make inexpensive renewable energy that can replace fossil fuels in the energy, manufacturing and transportation industries. Ecolectro plans to move into the technology park from its business incubator space at Weill Hall on Cornell’s campus. The company currently employs nine, with plans to add another seven. All existing and new positions have salaries above a living wage.
Conamix conducts research and development related to making lithium-ion batteries better and longer lasting. It is also a young firm based out of the business incubator space at Cornell’s Weill Hall. The company employs 10, with plans to add another five positions by the end of 2019. As with the other two firms, all existing and new positions at Conamix have salaries above a living wage.
So why spend nearly $3 million on renovating space for these firms? There are a few different arguments one could make here. They’re local firms, born and raised in Tompkins County, so they have roots here and are less likely to depart so long as they have the right resources available to them. The companies all have growth potential that would benefit the community with high-paying jobs and business activity, and they’re cutting edge firms seeking to have a positive impact on the world around them. It helps B&T Visions applied to the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA) for a sales tax exemption on material purchases, worth about $90,400. The project was lauded by IDA members, who called it “an excellent use of a small subsidy,” and the sales tax exemption was approved unanimously.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of August. Syracuse’s Hayner Hoyt Corporation is the construction manager for the project, and Rochester-based Architectura PC is designing the new interior spaces.
Featured image: The Cornell Business and Technology Park (Brian Crandall/Ithaca Voice)