TROY, N.Y. -- The former headquarters of Van Zandt, Jacobs and Co., once a major manufacturer of the Arrow brand, is expected to pass into a Missouri developer’s hands in about six months.
The Vecino Group is under contract to purchase the former collar and cuff factory at 621-623 River St. from its current owners, siblings Edward J. Matthews, Jr. and Donna Marsh. Upon acquisition, the developer plans to convert the five-story, 95,000-square-foot building into 80 apartments, which will be aimed at artists, as combined live-work spaces, and recent college graduates.
The siblings are selling the building, and plan to officially retire from the joint-owned automatic sprinkler business that they have operated out of the building’s basement, as they no longer want the taxes and financial responsibility that come with maintaining the old structure.
Incorporated in 1947 by their father, Edward J. Matthews Sr., the Matthews Sprinkler Co. once employed 25 people, but after a large contraction more than a year ago, the company is down to two employees. When the building is sold and the company dissolved in six months, one of those employees will retire, and the other -- a relative of Matthews -- will seek new employment. Matthews plans to spend more time with his grandchildren.
After the company dissolves, it will no longer be feasible to keep the building, said Matthews, especially if he has an unforeseen financial crisis as occurred several years ago.
At one point, said Matthews, he had a tenant who had begun an indoor marijuana growing operation without Matthews’ knowledge. When police busted the tenant, they also evicted all of the building’s other tenants.
The tenant only spent one night in jail, said Matthews, but as the landlord, he was out $60,000 in rent that year.
Aside from the Matthews’ sprinkler company, the building currently has a number of other tenants. These include River Street Pottery and Northeastern Ceramic Supply, a training facility for the TriCity Bombers Baseball Club, Maximum Fitness Gym, and DK Designs, the studio workspace for the Weathered Wood store on River Street in downtown.
Several blocks down River Street, the Vecino Group also has plans to convert 444 River St., a former factory that once housed the Troy Waste Manufacturing Co., which recycled used fabric accumulated during the production of collars, cuffs, and shirts to create shoddy, an inferior woolen yarn.