GSBDC Finances Downtown Facility for Architect

Posted 05.31.11

Loan: SBA 504

In 2002, Anthony Catsimatides established Open Atelier, his own architectural firm in Cazenovia, NY.  The firm specializes in high end architectural planning and design services emphasizing sustainable and green design practices with a goal of fostering creativity and productivity in the workplace.

He purchased the former M & T Bank building at 451 South Warren Street and has renovated it to accommodate his growing architectural firm which has located on the second floor.  Substantial renovation was required to maximize space requirements for optimal workflow.    According to Anthony Catsimatides, “Moving downtown during this exciting time is one of the best investments around. Our firm is positioned to take advantage of some of the more exciting projects being proposed in the area and we are involved in a number of neighborhood initiatives scaled at revitalizing downtown Syracuse. Every day we see growth, which is a wonderful feeling given there are areas in the country that are still feeling the recession.”  They intend to lease the first floor to a suitable retail business to help support the continued revitalization of Syracuse’s urban core.

GSBDC provided a $121,750 SBA 504 loan to assist with the construction costs.  The program provided a 20 year fixed rate second mortgage on 39% of the total project cost while minimizing the equity injection required of the practice.  The financing package also included a $40,000 grant through the Downtown Committee to help revitalize Downtown Syracuse.  Solvay Bank provided 39% of the project financing in a first mortgage position.  According to John Gibbs, Vice President, “Solvay Bank was excited about the opportunity to assist in the revitalization of a downtown Syracuse project by helping Anthony move his business to S. Warren St.  We believe that more opportunities will arise and that entrepreneurs should take advantage of these opportunities to grow their business.  Downtown Syracuse is essential to the economic well being of Syracuse and Onondaga County. Projects like these are vital to the area’s growth.”

Open Atelier originally had two employees including Catsimatides and a Junior Associate Architect.  Since moving into the new facility they have added two new staff, bringing the total to four employees.  They anticipate needing to add two to three additional employees over the next three years to accommodate further growth.