The long-anticipated move of Bantam Tools from Berkeley, California, to a 8,700-square-foot facility in Peekskill came to fruition on Nov. 18 when a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the company’s new 135 N. Water St. headquarters.
New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul joined Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey and others in welcoming the company and the 54 jobs it has brought to the area.
Bantam’s CEO Bre Pettis, through Bre & Co. LLC, paid $1.65 million for properties at 135, 150, 189 and 190 N. Water St. according to records on file with the Westchester County Clerk.
The company makes hardware and software used by designers and engineers for digital design and fabrication. For example, it makes desktop-sized milling machines that are used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards and are used by laboratories at such institutions as MIT, NYU and Stanford.
“To be able to manufacture our desktop CNC (computer numerical control) machines in the United States and specifically build them in Peekskill is a great accomplishment,” Pettis said.
In 2018, the Croton-on-Hudson resident told the Business Journal he wanted to move Bantam Tools to Peekskill in order for the company to be closer to his home. “What I don’t like is flying across the country all the time,” he said. The area along North Water Street had been “sort of a no man’s land” in recent years, he said.
Bantam Tools occupies one of four buildings at the site. The other three buildings may be developed to house a tech incubator, classroom space, artists’ studios and a ceramics manufacturing business. In 2009, Pettis and two associates founded MakerBot Industries, a manufacturer of 3D printers. That company was acquired by Stratasys in 2013 in a deal valued at more than $600 million.
“The decision for Bantam Tools to move to Peekskill from California underscores the momentum of growth in the area and the business-friendly climate in New York state,” Hochul said. “We want to make sure young people are inspired and trained for jobs in manufacturing to close the skills gap and ensure businesses have the workforce needed to grow in the Hudson Valley and across the state.”
Pettis applied for a zoning amendment from Peekskill to allow light manufacturing in the WF-2 and WF-3 zones that covered North and South Water Streets.
Peekskill’s newly re-elected Mayor Andre Rainey said, “Advanced technology, workforce development and numerous other opportunities are filling this wonderful city and it brings joy to my heart. This is the beginning of a new future for Peekskill.”
Eric Gertler, acting commissioner of Empire State Development, said, “Bantam Tools’ relocation to New York exemplifies the Mid-Hudson’s ongoing revitalization as a hub for advanced manufacturing and we’re proud to see it open in Peekskill and add new, good jobs to the city’s economy.”
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said that the county certainly welcomes the company. “What we are seeing right now in Peekskill’s renaissance is what good government can do when they are committed to finding the best path forward for all residents.”