By Michael Regan
The Tonawanda News
NORTH TONAWANDA — When Taylor Devices moves much of its manufacturing to the Buffalo Bolt Business Park beginning in early November it will triple its production capabilities.
But it will also go along way in drawing the kind of attention to North Tonawanda that might expedite the filling of the remaining vacant acreage at the business park, according to the Lumber City Development Corporation, the city’s funding arm.
Company president Doug Taylor said he purchased three buildings in the park last year, and after a lengthy process has nearly completed refurbishments on two of them. When construction upgrades are complete, 55,000 additional square feet of space will lend to a more expansive operation.
“It’s going to double our total square footage,” Taylor said.
At the time Taylor purchased the properties they were not considered a part of the future business park, though the buildings have since been assimilated. The company also bought land outside of the buildings with the potential for future growth.
The venture falls in line with the company’s August announcement of record sales in earthquake-related devices and military equipment and will now allow a more focused approach to for the expanding enterprise, mostly situated on Tonawanda Island.
“We’re maxed out on Tonawanda Island,” Taylor said. “Now we’ll have straight product flow.”
The company increased sales by $8 million in 2012 to $29,066,812 with net income rising by 55 percent. Taylor, whose father started the company decades earlier, has been a devotee of the area while many manufacturers have fled to Asia.
Seismic products sold to Asia have risen 72 percent in 2012, accounting for 54 percent of all corporate sales — a 20 percent increase from 2011.
Taylor Devices expanded its employment ranks by 28 last year, while the Buffalo Bolt site will allow for 15 additional employees, Taylor said.
Richard Tindell, director of LCDC, said as the business park fills up it will help chip away at a manufacturing decline in the region, despite the fact the city has fared better than some areas of Western New York.
“The purpose of this park is to put as many jobs as possible into the area,” said Michael Zimmerman, planning and development coordinator for LCDC.
The move may also allow the company to scale down a backlog of orders that now sits at $17.5 million, expand its productivity and allow more room for the kinds of wares it now produces.
“Our biggest product in the 1960s was 10 pounds,” Taylor said. “We went from 10 pounds to 10 tons.”
Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.