Some Favorite Sites
Government/ Community Links
Lights Are Going Out At Grand Light
by Allan Appel | Aug 21, 2013 2:40 pm
Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Mill River
A venerable Grand Avenue fixture (pun intended) for the past 84 years is moving to Seymour.
Grand Light plans to leave its building at the southwest corner of Grand and East for 104 Day St. in Seymour, a 1905 building previously owned by the Seymour Brass Turnings Company.
Owner Steve Stockman said the move, which has been evolving for the past ten months, will enable the company, which opened on Grand Avenue in 1929, to emphasize its historic light restoration business. The company plans to vacate the building by month’s end.
“We are so grateful for the support of the New Haven market and customers for the past 80 years, and we fully expect to support and service them at the new facility,” Stockman said.
Grand Light sits in the industrial area between Wooster Square and Fair Haven, bracketed by I-91 and the Mill River. It’s part of the under-appreciated Mill River District; a recent report cited it as the kind of business upon which the city hopes to build in order to create new jobs.
Stockman said the new facility, with its equipment and its aura, will serve as a living showroom for the work that has evolved into three-quarters of Grand Light’s annual sales; the showroom sales business accounts for only about 20 percent. (Samples here.)
Stockman said customers range from universities such as Yale, churches and cathedrals, the National Park Service, and among the renovated Teddy Roosevelt birthplace at Sagamore Hill on Long Island. Another recent project is restoration of two 200-pound bronze fixtures in front of New Haven’s state courthouse.
Most of the projects are for lighting fixtures that date between 1905 and 1935.
Talk about a niche business.
That’s what the move was about, said Stockman.
“It was extremely important to us that we find a period building between 1905 and 1935 to fit our clientele’s [needs, and projects]. The new facility has the power, air compressors, spray booths, everything we need equipment-wise,” he said.
“It’s 15 minutes away, but it’s worth the ride, because [visitors will find] who knows what they’re working on [and will be visible to vistiors]. How often has someone walked into a showroom and seen a gaslight wall sconce?” Stockman said.
In the heyday of Grand Light’s warehouse distribution business, the company employed 100 people. Many walked or took the bus to work. The business and world have changed, Stockman observed. Now Grand has 12 employees. It plans to hire some additional skilled artisans in Seymour.
“It’s not downsizing,” he said, although physically, the new space will be a third the size of 33,000 square foot Fair Haven locale.
“We are so grateful for the support of the New Haven market and customers for the past 80 years, and we fully expect to support and service them at the new facility,” Stockman added.
Stockman owns of the building on Grand and the four-acre site. He was asked about his plans for the property.
“To be determined,” Stockman replied.
Calls to city economic development officials for their perspective were not returned by press time.
Tags: Grand Light, Steve Stockman
Post a Comment
another one bites the dust….when will we learn that you can only tax people and businesses so much before they give up?