Bob Shaw cuts foam in the Northern Cases workshop at Creative Stage Lighting. The company received APA approval for their expansion plans, but the owner is still reviewing his options.
Photo by John Grybos.
Ray Brook The Adirondack Park Agency approved the construction application of North Creek’s Creative Stage Lighting, though company owner George Studnicky III is still reviewing his expansion options.
Looking to expand their capability for manufacturing power supply systems and cables, the company has looked 2 miles north of North Creek to Chestertown, where Studnicky owns land, to constuct a larger building.
Situated across from the sand and gravel quarry by Byrnes Road, the property could house a 73,000 square-foot building, but Studnicky hasn’t committed yet.
“We had planned for some related New York State assistance, and it looks as though they do not feel we are manufacturers and thus ineligible for the type of aid we sought,” wrote Studnicky in an e-mail. “That would help justify developing the site we received the approvals for.”
He’ll appeal the decision by the state while the last bids for the Chestertown site plan come in. Studnicky needs to review the costs of building a large facility on the site, which would be made difficult and expensive by the uneven grading there.
He’s also considering expanding the business, which has supplied staging equipment to headline acts like Phish and Meatloaf, to the western U.S. A second facility there would give the company an advantage in delivery times to distant venues.
If the Chestertown site is chosen, it would include 9,000 square feet of office space, 58,000 square feet for production of equipment and 6,000 square feet of rigging area.
One disadvantage the company has in their current home is their low ceilings. When clients want to preview the equipment offered, they must see it reproduced in a smaller scale than it would be on stage. This is occasionally a deal-breaker.
“Creative Stage Lighting represents the type of industry that is needed to help diversify and strengthen the economy of the Adirondack Park”, said APA Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich in a press release. “The approved expansion is vital to the company’s continued success and will create skilled jobs that will ensure Adirondackers are able to remain in their home towns. This is another example that the Adirondack Park is open for business.”
“The Agency believes this project will have profound economic impacts locally and regionally without negatively affecting neighboring properties, community character or the surrounding environment,” added APA Executive Director Terry Martino.
Creative Stage Lighting currently hires about 40 full-time employees. The expansion should bolster their ranks by 25 more employees over the next few years. The building construction job should provide temporary full-time work for as many as two dozen over the expected 34-week project.