Watts Architecture & Engineering, P.C. is bringing its main office and 70 employees to the Cobblestone District. Relocating from Eggertsville, the fast-growing firm will be taking space in 95 Perry Street which is currently under renovation. Watts will occupy 20,000 sq.ft. of office space on the third and a portion of the second floors. Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) has signed-on as the anchor tenant and will move in this fall.
Watts, formed in 1986 by Edward O. Watts, specializes in civil, environmental, transportation, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering and architecture. The firm currently occupies 15,000 sq.ft. of space in the former Eggertsville Fire Hall (circa-1932) at 3826 Main Street, corner of Maynard Drive. The company also maintains an office in Alexandria, Virginia.
In a Business First survey, Watts was recently named the 24th fastest growing company in its Fast Track 50 list (based on total sales and employee growth over a three year period).
Savarino Cos. and Avalon Development are converting the circa 1930’s Benlin Distribution Services warehouse building at 95 Perry Street into a mix of office, retail and apartment space. Watts' space needs will mean a change in plans for the second floor which was once pegged for nine apartments. There will now be five units.
"I'm very happy that they have committed to downtown," says Sam Savarino, CEO of Savarino Cos. "We're excited to have them."
Savarino will be incorporating an in-house wine and coffee bar into the first floor that will be open to the public and has yet to be named. Tenants in Savarino's three Mississippi Street properties will have access to a 95 Perry's planned fitness center. Winsoft, a software firm based in Ottawa, has leased 1,500 sq.ft. of space on the first floor leaving approximately 5,000 sq.ft. available for retail or restaurant use.
Watts' employees will be parking across Mississippi Street in an HSBC Arena-operated lot. Roswell Park Cancer Institute will claim an additional 250 parking spots there and will be shuttling employees between the Medical Campus and the Cobblestone District.
Watts may not be the only engineering firm heading downtown. According to Business First, O’Brien & Gere is also looking to relocate. With four current employees, and plans to expand to up to 20, O’Brien & Gere is said to be eyeing a move from 4248 Ridge Lea Road in Amherst to downtown.