WATERTOWN — Jay Smith likes the amount of space provided in his company’s new location that the Cazenovia Equipment Company opened on Monday as the first business in the agri-biz park on Route 3 in the town of Watertown.
The company merged two smaller locations in Sandy Creek and Burrville into a 25,000-square-foot facility in the Thousand Islands International Agriculture and Business Park, located near the BOCES complex.
Cazenovia Equipment offers residential, commercial and agricultural parts, sales and service for its John Deere, Honda and Stihl product lines.
“It’s just the size of it, just the amount of space we have,” Mr. Smith, the company’s corporate turf sales manager, said.
Mr. Smith, who has worked for the company for four years, is coming from the Burrville location, which only offered lawn and garden and some small agricultural products.
The company owns the new building, while it leased the stores in Sandy Creek and Burrville. About 25 employees work there on a daily basis.
Company president and co-owner Jim Frazee acknowledged that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic created a several-month delay — caused by issues in getting supplies, completing infrastructure and even finding labor to work on the project — in the opening.
“We’re just thrilled to be open and serve our Jefferson County and north country customers,” he said.
Despite the delays, Michael E. Lundy, president of The Lundy Group of Companies, said he and the owners are happy with the new building, adding it’s “a great example” of his company’s Design/Build concept and the Butler Building Systems.
“Each and every part of the facility has a great deal of thought and purpose to it,” Mr. Lundy said. “Each internal area was designed in a manner to increase staff efficiency and provide for a strong workflow.”
The building features a main service area with 30-foot-high ceilings; a spacious indoor showroom and display areas; and an 84-foot-wide bridge crane that travels that entire space. The facility also sits on five acres of yard that provides for equipment storage and display.
While the company offers its services to the agricultural industry, Cazenovia Equipment also has a growing customer base for households, schools, municipalities, landscapers and small hobby farmers, Mr. Frazee said.
In 2009, Cazenovia equipment entered the north country when it acquired Widrick Implements.
In 1961, Mr. Frazee’s grandfather, Larry Love, began Cazenovia Equipment with its one location in Madison County. Mr. Frazee and his brothers Mike and Ben have run the company since their father Bob Frazee retired in 2011.
The company now has 10 locations, with a new one opening in Fulton this week, and 180 employees.
In the spring of 2019, The Lundy Group of Companies announced plans for the 150-acre new agribusiness park.
Mr. Lundy thinks Cazenovia Equipment is a good fit for the park, which will consist of commercial, industrial and retail ventures, as well as those related to agricultural businesses.
With the opening of Cazenovia Equipment, work is also well underway on Eagle Beverage’s 7,400-square-foot cross-docking/distribution center, located behind the new building in the agri-biz park. Plans call for completion of the Eagle Beverage center this spring.
Mr. Lundy also continues to work on building a meat-processing plant in the agri-biz park. In proximity to a population center like Watertown, the new agri-business park also offers easy access from Route 3 and Interstate 81, Mr. Lundy said.