ITHACA, N.Y. — A growing Lansing technology company is ready to take its business to the next level, with an expansion and what they hope will be a bit of assistance from the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA).
DatapointLabs (yes, all one word) is a division of Applus (“Ay-plus”, as in “A+”) Technologies currently based out of the Langmuir Lab building in the Cornell Business Park in Lansing village. The homegrown tech firm has outgrown its space, and approached the IDA requesting sales tax abatements as part of its expansion project. The sales tax break would help reduce the costs of its planned long-term lease and partial renovation of a warehouse in the Dutch Mill Business Park off of Warren Road in the town of Lansing.
The renovation, more precisely described as an interior fit-out and conversion, would involve about 21,000 square feet of space in the 75,000 square-foot warehouse at 21 Dutch Mill Road. The warehouse and adjacent office building were built out in multiple phases during the mid and late 2000s, with further work in the past several years. The flex warehouse space would be reconfigured into a fully equipped laboratory outfitted for DatapointLabs’ mechanical, thermal and rheological (flow) testing of materials for product designers worldwide. The project includes a fully renovated 12,000 square feet of specialized laboratories space, and 5,000 square feet of offices, and additional minor renovations to support that work and the growth of the company. Ithaca’s John Snyder Architects is doing the design work, and Edger Enterprises of Elmira Heights has been tapped to handle the buildout.
The price tag for the construction project is about $1.28 million. To help rein in costs and lessen the company’s burden for taking on the expansion, DatapointLabs is seeking a sales tax abatement on the purchase of construction materials and equipment that would outfit and furnish the new digs. The estimated value of the sales tax abatement is about $64,000. Unlike the property tax abatement often sought for the gleaming towers of Downtown Ithaca, this is a kind of project that is closer to the IDA’s core mission, which is to help businesses that want to expand their workforce by making the costs of adding space and growing their business a little less risky and burdensome.
In exchange for this $64,000 tax break, DatapointLabs would keep its existing 20-person staff in Lansing, add seven more positions, and the project would create about a dozen construction jobs while buildout is underway. While DatapointLabs didn’t provide exact figures, they state that all their positions (professional, clerical and manufacturing) pay at least $20/hour plus benefits. The company also pointed out in their application that out-of-town visitors to their facility typically generate about 80 overnight stays at hotels (40 visits, two-night stay) annually.
Founded in 1995, DatapointLabs’ specialty is testing the physical properties of materials intended for use in new products and research applications, with an accredited research laboratory “providing a 5-day turnaround on standard testing of virtually any materials used in the products of today and tomorrow,” according to the company website.
As an interior renovation, the project would not need to seek environmental review from the Town of Lansing’s Planning Board. A work permit has already been procured from the town, and pending the IDA’s review and potential approval of the tax break, work on the renovation project would begin immediately after, if the sales tax break is granted. Completion and opening of the new lab would be slated for June 2021.