ADC plans major expansion (Ithaca Journal)
11/17/2006 - 11/30/-0001
LANSING — Advanced Design Consulting, a local engineering and light industrial manufacturing business, plans to create hundreds of new jobs when it completes a new business and technology park in Dryden.
Based in Lansing, ADC has purchased 48 acres along Route 13, across from Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3). The site will feature 12 buildings, at a total of 340,000 square feet, when construction is complete. The first phase will entail the building of the company's main structure, a 50,000 square-foot administrative, laboratory and manufacturing space.
“We're planting the seed for potentially a large company, $2-3 billion,” said Alexander Deyhim, president of Advanced Design Consulting. “HP started in a garage. I say we have a very good chance of making it.”
ADC submitted a request for a special use building permit to the Town of Dryden earlier this month, and the board could vote to grant that request as early as December.
“Things are starting to happen in Dryden,” said Town of Dryden supervisor Steven Trumbull. If the business meets all of the proper requirements, its value to Dryden would be “tremendous,” he said.
Deyhim hopes to break ground on the first phase this spring and move in during the fall of 2007. The second phase, which would begin in about five years, would expand the complex by an additional 120,000 square feet, and the third phase, to commence about 10 years from now, would add 170,000 square feet. Total cost of the project is about $3-4 million, which will be financed through bank loans and grants. Deyhim said the company will sell its building in Lansing.
ADC employs 34 people. With the completion of Phase I, the company hopes to hire 70 additional people with skills in the areas of manufacturing, administration and engineering. When the business and industrial park reaches full capacity, Deyhim estimates he could provide jobs for 850.
ADC produces a wide variety of products. For the U.S. military, it has created weapon shot counters, which count the number and rate of shots fired so soldiers can better maintain their equipment.
It has developed sensors to measure ocean pressure and temperature, and builds insertion devices, which are used in synchrotrons, a type of particle accelerator often used for producing x-ray beams.
The company is currently developing product lines and looking to license some of its technologies.
A graduate and former employee of Cornell University, Deyhim started ADC as a hobby business in 1994. He built its current office in Lansing in 1997. It has since gone through two expansions and the company has been ranked on the Fast Track 50 list for the past two years. The Fast Track 50 charts the fastest-growing businesses in Central New York.
ADC has been successful in winning contracts from China and Europe, as well as from domestic agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Yet, it has sometimes lost potential business due to physical limitations at its current location, Deyhim said.
This past year Argonne National Lab in Chicago was considering ADC for a $10 million contract for 20 undulators, a type of insertion device. The president said his company got high marks for technical ability, but couldn't convince the lab it had the facility capacity.
He believes the new park will allow him to better prepare for large contracts.
“With this kind of business campus — where we will own the buildings — we will have incredible flexibility to change and modify our space to meet our customers' needs,” he said.
One customer Deyhim has a close eye on is Brookhaven National Lab in Upton, N.Y., which recently received a $1 billion grant to develop a new light source. He said the lab will need suppliers for 48 insertion devices. An insertion device can go for anywhere from $500,000 to several million a piece. ADC produced an insertion device for Brookhaven several months ago and hopes to continue their partnership.
Lured by tax incentives and other perks, Deyhim considered relocating the company out of state a few years ago, he said, but in the end the Dryden location proved most attractive. ADC often collaborates with Cornell University faculty and utilizes the institution's equipment. Further, Dryden's location between Cortland and Ithaca will allow the company to recruit a skilled labor force from Ithaca College, SUNY Cortland and TC3.
“When you are looking to expand, you have to look at the labor market,” Deyhim said.
Supporting the local community and his employees is a top priority. He said the company has done well in part due to the quality of his employees, which include three respected engineers he courted after the IBM layoffs a few years ago. He has tried to compensate their work by gradually expanding benefits. In addition, the company recently instituted an “earth tax,” in which it donates 5 percent of profits to environmental organizations.
Henry Slater, zoning officer for the Town of Dryden, said based on an initial review he did not foresee any problems with ADC's site plan.
“I think they've picked a good location for what they intend,” Slater said. The area has been identified as an ideal place for research and industry in the town's comprehensive plan.
The project will also undergo review by county and state agencies.
Among the reviews will be a water and sewer review, since the 48-acre parcel is not served by the town water and the company proposes its own on-site system.