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Michigan boat company to drop anchor in downtown

SYRACUSE - Lakeland Boatworks, Inc, based in Middleville, Mich., is moving into first floor space at 499 S. Warren St. in Syracuse in March 2009.

"The Finger Lakes Finger Lakes, group of 11 narrow glacial lakes in north to south valleys, W central N.Y. Cayuga and Seneca lakes, both more than 35 mi (56 km) long, are the largest and deepest. Keuka Lake is the center of the area's wine industry, the largest in New York.  are ideal for just about every model of boat that we make," says L. Joseph Rahn, president of Lakeland Boatworks.

The company manufactures low-maintenance wood and epoxy epoxy

Any of a class of thermosetting polymers, polyethers built up from monomers with an ether group that takes the form of a three-membered epoxide ring. The familiar two-part epoxy adhesives consist of a resin with epoxide rings at the ends of its molecules and a curing
 recreational boats from 16 to 32 feet in both power and sail models, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the company's Web site. Lakeland sells models that include Riverside, Riverside X2, Reflection, Charlevoix Sharpie, and Isle Royale Isle Roy·ale  

An island of northern Michigan in Lake Superior near the coast of Ontario. French fur traders named the island in 1671. Native Americans mined the island's copper for centuries before ceding the island to the United States in 1843.

The company has two copyrights for the Charlevoix and Riverside lines through the U.S. copyright office, so those models belong to Lakeland Boatworks. The company has also applied for a copyright for the Isle Royale model.

The Syracuse location is part of a strategic plan the company organized in 2007, says Rahn. It included a national advertising campaign in most marine publications, especially the ones related to wooden boats, such as Good Old Boat.

Lakeland has featured its products in regional and national boat shows, such as the International Boatyard Noun 1. boatyard - a place where boats are built or maintained or stored
place, property - any area set aside for a particular purpose; "who owns this place?"; "the president was concerned about the property across from the White House"
 and Marina Show in Tampa, Fla., and Rahn says it can be expensive.

Rahn also reviewed the business models of companies such as Miami, Fla.-based Jaguar Marine, which entered the marketplace by acquiring a downtown location and setting up a showroom and service area.

Rahn was sailing a Riverside X2 on Lake Champlain during the summer 2006, and discovered through conversations with other boaters that people who sail on the Finger Lakes and in the Thousand Islands region really like wooden boats.

So, Rahn figured if he could find a spot with reasonable rent, he could showcase the Riverside X2 year-round and be more successful marketing the product than paying $48 per square foot for a week at various national trade shows.

"We're offering our customers geographic proximity, which we think is critical to our product, and also company-owned showrooms, as opposed to a dealer that may have four to six lines of boats and not give us the attention that we want," he says.

Rahn sought the help of the City of Syracuse Economic Development Office in finding a space in the downtown area. Attorney Stephen Etoll, a partner in the law firm Shulman Curtin Grudner & Regan, P.C. at 250 S. Clinton St. in Syracuse, negotiated the lease.

Lakeland Boatworks signed a 13-year lease with building owner 499 Syracuse City Centre, LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.

LLC - Logical Link Control
, a company affiliated with Brooklyn real estate investor A real estate investor is someone who actively or passively invests in real estate. An active investor may buy a property, make repairs and/or improvements to the property, and sell it later for a profit.  Menachem Friedfertig of NMF NMF

An abbreviation for "no meaningful figure". You'll often see this when comparing financial data among companies where a certain ratio or figure isn't applicable.

For example, if company has negative earnings, it cannot have a P/E ratio.
 Properties. Friedfertig also employs Dana Crocker of Prudential First Properties Commercial Group to market space within the building's eight floors.

Rahn wouldn't disclose the monthly lease amount.

The property at 499 S. Warren St. is assessed at $670,000, according to online tax records from the Onondaga County Office of Real Property Tax Services.

The Syracuse location is Lakeland's first expansion outside Michigan, says Rahn.

The company currently employs six people at its headquarters in Michigan and is adding three employees at the upcoming Syracuse location. With the Syracuse showroom opening, Lakeland Boatworks will also add two additional employees to the Michigan headquarters to handle the manufacturing needs from increased sales.

Citing Lakeland's status as a privately held company privately held company

A firm whose shares are held within a relatively small circle of owners and are not traded publicly.
, Rahn wouldn't disclose annual revenue information but is predicting the company will have a lucrative year in 2009.

He projects the company will generate a 200 percent to 300 percent increase in revenue in 2009, "especially with the opening of the showroom."

Lakeland Boatworks is occupying about 5,000 square feet of space in the South Warren Street building, including 4,000 square feet for the showroom, and another 1,000 square feet in another room for a prep area and inventory storage.

The showroom includes a stairway stairway
 or staircase

Series or flight of steps that provides a means of moving from one level to another. The earliest stairways seem to have been built with walls on both sides, as in Egyptian pylons dating from the 2nd millennium BC.
 to a lower level where Lakeland will carry parts for its original equipment manufacturer (OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) The rebranding of equipment and selling it. The term initially referred to the company that made the products (the "original" manufacturer), but eventually became widely used to refer to the organization that buys the products and ) engine partners, including Farmers Branch, Texas-based Nissan Marine, and Tokyo, Japan-based Tohatsu.

The required renovation work consists of two projects, says Rahn.

The first project focused on the building's facade, and architect William Walton Noun 1. William Walton - English composer (1902-1983)
Sir William Turner Walton, Sir William Walton, Walton
 of Walton Architectural Group of Syracuse provided the drawings. Contractors for the project include B & R Glass Co Inc. of Cicero, which will install bigger glass doors to get the boats inside; Awning Mart Inc. of Cicero; and RF Esposito, Inc. of Fayetteville, which is handling the pilasters, a slightly projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. The pilasters will also have lights to illuminate the sidewalk.

Horst Design International of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. is the architect for interior portion of the renovation work. The interior design will include four boats inset into a platform, and an engine mount that will hold a dozen of the company's Nissan outboard motors Nissan outboards are produced by Tohatsu Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. They are the second largest producer of outboard motors in the world and produce environmentally conscious TLDI series of two-stroke low pressure direct injection outboards that meet current EPA regulations for  

"It's a pretty upscale design," Rahn says, noting an electrician will handle installation of the tracking lights and flood lights.

The interior work and the development of the facade is costing about $300,000, says Rahn.

Lakeland Boatworks is moving into space that a bank previously occupied. The space includes a vault, and Rahn says it will remain because he and the landlord couldn't arrive at an economical way to remove it.

"It's got a wheel on it for the door, and we're going to have to decorate it as a ship's wheel," he says.

Rahn founded Lakeland Boatworks in 2000, after having worked 20 years in economic development for the city of Hastings, Mich. Rahn served as the grant writer, construction manager, and manager of an industrial business incubator Business incubators are organizations that support the entrepreneurial process, helping to increase survival rates for innovative startup companies. Entrepreneurs with feasible projects are selected and admitted into the incubators, where they are offered a specialized menu of  in Hastings.

When Rahn opted for an early retirement, he started Lakeland Boatworks in the incubator incubator, apparatus for the maintenance of controlled conditions in which eggs can be hatched artificially. Incubator houses with double walls of mud, a fireroom, and several compartments each holding about 6,000 hens' eggs were developed in ancient times; the  and expanded it twice in the years that followed.
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Author:Eric Reinhardt
Publication:Business Journal - Central New York, The
Date:Jan 2, 2009
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