MALONE — Dow Electric is buying the former Cleyn & Tinker building, with plans to hire 25 people and begin $900,000 in renovations this spring.
The announcement was made Tuesday by Franklin County Industrial Development Authority Chief Executive Officer John Tubbs.
Down Electric will pay $420,000 for the site and the 41 acres it sits on off Route 11.
The closing is expected to take place in May, and renovations and construction would start soon after, he said.
Brothers Anthony, Robert and Tracy Dow own the business, which was founded by their father, Harry Dow, in 1987.
The company specializes in electrical, high-voltage and traffic-signal-construction projects.
The family also owns Everything Electric in Malone and Potsdam and Alltech Integrations Inc. in Potsdam.
“We plan to focus on improving the building’s manufacturing and storage spaces, not only to meet our current and future needs but for the development of new businesses and job creation,” Cleyn & Tinker President Tracy Dow said in a news release about the planned purchase.
Site improvements will include mechanical upgrades; new heating, air-conditioning and ventilation work; improved data technology; and a sprinkler system.
He said Dow Electric also intends to convert its heating needs to natural-gas service when the 48-mile Enbridge-St. Lawrence Gas pipeline project through northern Franklin County is completed.
TENANTS MUST RENEW
Three tenants have used the Cleyn & Tinker building since the IDA took ownership in 2006, which includes the fleet of buses used by Franklin County Public Transportation.
Tubbs said the tenants will have to renegotiate their contracts with Dow Electric.
He said the company “is agreeable” to working with other businesses, companies and investors to develop all or part of the 41 acres surrounding the main building and that Dow Electric has the ability to construct a building to lease or build to suit an entity’s specifications.
Tubbs said the IDA can help, too, since it has a number of bonding or lending programs and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes options available to potential businesses.
“We believe this is a good opportunity for all parties,” he said.
The IDA marketed the site for years in search of the right buyer, but Tubbs said none of them seemed to be a good fit until Dow Electric expressed interest about a year ago.
“Dow Electric is committed to Malone,” he said. “We don’t need to attract businesses from outside New York state or outside the country. They were already here and looking to expand.”
The IDA has been heavily criticized for taking ownership of the building and removing it from the tax rolls.
The Town of Malone and Malone Central School District were the most recent entities expressing interest to use the site as a joint bus garage/Highway Department. But the sale did not go through.
Town Council member Paul Walbridge said he thought the site was just right for the combined facility, but after learning the building is being sold to Dow Electric, he said, he is glad.
“I was disappointed because I thought it was a great opportunity for the town and the school,” he said, “but with that being said, if it’s been sold to someone else, that’s great as long as it’s going back on the tax rolls.”
Tubbs said the Board of Directors is pleased its calculated risk has paid off, since the IDA’s mission is to retain and create jobs.
Both goals were fulfilled by waiting to find the right owners, he said, who are not only retaining good-paying jobs but hiring as many as 25 more people in the next three years.
And another 10 to 12 temporary-construction jobs will be created as renovations take place, Tubbs said.
“This is a great thing for Malone and the rest of the North Country.”
Email Denise A. Raymo:firstname.lastname@example.org