Arktura coming to Chautauqua County

OBSERVER Photo by Natasha Matteliano Chris Kabatsi, CEO of Arktura and Kevin Kane, partner, present their company to the CCIDA board.

A California based company is expanding from the west coast to Chautauqua County.

Arktura is a company founded by Rob Kilian, Chris Kabatsi and Kevin Kane in 2008. All three architects were former classmates from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Albany and want to come back to New York. They are in the process of purchasing a 134,858 square foot facility located at 1 Precision Way in the town of Ellicott. This building was previously home to Acu-Rite/Heidenhain.

“At this point in the U.S., more than half our customers are on the east coast,” said Kane, who was in attendance at the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency meeting on Tuesday at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator in Dunkirk. “For the last year we’ve been searching for a location on the east coast and thrilled to find Jamestown and Chautauqua County.”

“We could not be happier to have discovered Chautauqua County and we are thrilled to have discovered Chautauqua County and we are thrilled to be working with the IDA to get this operation up and running,” said Kabatsi, also in attendance at the meeting. “We will be putting together an industry leading facility filled with the latest machinery. We are excited to be a new addition to a community with such a rich tradition of manufacturing.”

The Board of Directors for the IDA unanimously voted in favor of authorizing the execution and delivery of a preliminary agreement with respect to Arktura’s application for financial incentives, which includes: real property tax abatements (PILOT), sales and use tax exemptions and a mortgage recording tax exemption.

Submitted Photo This photo showcases some of Arktura’s architectural work, including the Atmosphera Pulse ceiling.

“It’s great to see another business coming into that area,” said PJ Wendel, county executive. “Economic development is crucial to sustainability. … Too often we only hear the negative news about what’s going on in the county. I want to highlight more of the positive things happening here and this is a great example of that.”

Arktura plans to invest $7.3 million to expand its existing Los Angeles based operations to Chautauqua County. This new plant is projected to facilitate expedited lead times to the US market for its products, provide local services to east coast markets and increase its overall production capacity. Arktura plans to hire 50 full-time employees during the first three years of operations. The company has also applied for benefits/incentives through New York State Empire State Development and office of Community Renewal. According to Kabatsi, the timeline for the project should kick-off in April or May of this year.

“This is a great project not only for Ellicott, but the county as a whole,” said Mark Geise, deputy county executive for economic development and chief executive officer of the IDA. “We have been actively marketing this high-tech, modern facility for several years now and to have a company of this caliber purchase and renovate it, while creating 50 jobs is a dream come true.”