DRYDEN, N.Y. — A new chapter may be starting for the former Vanguard Printing building in Dryden. According to plans filed with the town of Dryden, a bedframe maker is making plans to renovate the facility into its next manufacturing facility.

The Knickerbocker Bed Frame Company, which is headquartered in New Jersey, has submitted site plans to make updates to the 220,000 square-foot building at 17 Hall Woods Road to serve its production and warehousing needs, including on-site metal fabrication and plastic molding involved with bedframe construction.

Founded in 1919, Knickerbocker specializes in the production of heavy-duty steel bed frames and bedding support systems. The company touts in online marketing materials its commitment to manufacturing its bed frames in the United States.

The initial renovation does not include any additions or major alterations to the Hall Woods Road building itself, though the façade will be updated. Site renovations will include equipment removal, repaving, landscaping and stormwater/drainage system updates. Environmental forms submitted in the document package note additions to the building may follow at a later time to better equip the building for future production needs.

According to the online filing, the price tag for the renovation will be in the range of $1.5 to $2.5 million. Civil engineering and design firm Hunt EAS is providing engineering work and project consulting on behalf of Knickerbocker, while LeChase Construction will be the general contractor for construction. Ithaca’s T.G. Miller P.C. is handling the site surveying.

While the property is effectively a continuation of light industrial uses, the project still needs to obtain a Special Use Permit (SUP) from the town of Dryden. Due to the noise and emissions that may arise with industrial uses, all new light industrial applications are reviewed to ensure compatibility with neighboring structures.

A specific number of jobs to be created is not stated in the SUP application, but Knickerbocker states as part of its parking plan that it intends to have 30-45 employees on site daily. Most employees will work the first shift (7 AM – 3 PM), with a smaller number on second and third shifts. Knickerbocker states more staff may be added to those second and third shifts as more employees are hired.

The Vanguard site has been for sale since June 2018, when the firm decided to shut down the Dryden facility. The brokering and sale of the industrial facility is being handled by nationally-prominent real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

As for what makes the Vanguard site appealing to Knickerbocker specifically, easy access to major highways, institutional bedframe buyers like Cornell and Ithaca College, and a newer (1991) move-in ready industrial facility are likely considerations. Requests for comment sent to Knickerbocker were not returned prior to publication.

The included project timeline states that if the SUP process moves smoothly, the interior and exterior renovations will be complete and the facility fully operational by September 2022.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.