NEWBURGH COMPANY OFFERS STUDIO SPACE FOR OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES
By Steve Brennan
Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 05:00 AM EDT
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Thomas Wright, co-owner of Atlas Industries, commuted from Beacon to Brooklyn for almost a decade when his business was there. His partner Joseph Fratesi had been living in the city for a long time.
"He was ready for something different, and he saw the great life I had in the Hudson Valley," he says.
Beacon, he said, had little space for them, so they decided to cross the bridge to Newburgh to relocate their custom furniture and interior design and building operation.
"It wasn't long after we started looking and started considering Newburgh seriously that we found this building," Wright said.
It was, he says, 10 times the size of their building in Brooklyn.
"We saw it as a potential for a development project in which we could set up a lot of studios for other designers, other artists, other makers," Wright said.
Alice Vaughan now rents one of more than 40 spaces in the Atlas Enterprise building. She's the owner of Hudson River Bindery, originally located in Pasadena, Calif.
"I brought the whole business here in big truck and a scary driver, and it was a big move for me," Vaughan said.
Vaughan said she was hired to do a job in Newburgh and "I just sort of just washed up here but just fell in love with the place."
After she made the move, Vaughan said, she opened at a different location, but some friends told her about Atlas.
"Some friends had a space here and they said 'Come over here; we think you'd be great here,' and I was resisting and resisiting," Vaughan said.
She finally relented. She says this space has many advantages, including being surrounded by other creative, helpful people.
"Which board, which glue, which material ... All sorts of ideas get cooked up here," Vaughan said.
Wright says Newburgh benefits not only from the building being re-purposed, or for the number of people he hires, but also because people like Vaughan are now working in the neighborhood.
"Obviously they're having lunch in the neighborhood," Wright said. "They are going to have coffee around the corner."
He hopes that changes the perception of the city for the better.
"We're very excited we did find it, both in terms of the building itself and Newburgh," Wright said.