Altman Lighting Inc., which was founded in 1953 and grew to become a major manufacturer of lighting equipment for theaters, television and the movies is closing its Yonkers plant and will be opening a new facility in Denver, Russell Altman of the company told the Business Journal.
The company has been at 57 Alexander St. in Yonkers on a 6.16-acre parcel that is set for redevelopment by Rose Associates of Manhattan.
The company filed a notice with the New York state labor department that all 45 employees, who are nonunion, would be affected by the closing. The company said that the closing date would be June 15. Russell Altman said that about 30% of the employees will remain with the company, some going to Denver and others working remotely.
The Business Journal previously reported that Rose Associates had an agreement to buy the property for $23 million from Altman Stage Lighting Co., Altman Holdings LLC and Ron Rob Realty Corp. The Yonkers Industrial Development Agency approved a package of financial incentives for the Rose Associates project.
Rose Associates’ plan called for a seven-story building with 440 rental apartments, 10% of which would be in the affordable category. There would be 443 parking spaces. The developer proposed 25,000 square feet of open space on the waterfront with a public walkway for river access. It said that its property would connect with waterfront sites north and south of its property.
The developer has estimated that the project would create 631 construction jobs and, when completed, 10 full-time jobs. The developer said that the project would take 24 months to build with construction beginning in July 2020 and an anticipated completion date in June 2022.
In its application to the IDA, Rose Associates said that the sales and mortgage tax breaks, plus a 20-year property tax abatement, “will help make the project financially viable.”
It also referred to the site as a “now derelict and largely inaccessible” industrial section area north of downtown. The property has five warehouses and a storage shed.
The land was cited in The Alexander Street Master Plan that had been adopted by the city council in 2009. The plan established a framework for the redevelopment of a section of the city’s Hudson River waterfront. It called for a mix of residential, retail, commercial and open space uses in an area covering approximately 153 acres.
Charles and Alice Altman established Altman Lighting and initially provided affordable professional lighting equipment to schools and small theaters. The company’s line of products expanded and so did its roster of clients. The Altmans and their company received a number of industry awards over the years. In 1992, their son Robert became head of the company.
Russell Altman told the Business Journal that the trend toward LED bulbs in theatrical lighting equipment has required modernizing manufacturing equipment and techniques.
On March 23, the Yonkers plant was temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. A notice from the company said it would remain closed until at least April 6.
“We’ve been saddened to see so many of our friends and colleagues badly affected, in particular those in the rental, production and live event side of our industry,” said a notice from Nicolas Champion, vice president of sales and marketing for Altman. “The solidarity shown during this pandemic speaks volumes about the close nature of our industry, where our friends are our family.”