by Rick Moriarty
Original Post date: 2/23/2015
Syracuse, N.Y. — A fast-growing software company has moved its Syracuse offices to cool new space in a century-old former knitting factory in historic Franklin Square.
Envisage Information Systems LLC , which opened an office in Jefferson Towers in downtown Syracuse three years ago, recently relocated to 443 N. Franklin St.
Envisage employs 41 people at its 9,000-square-foot office in the old factory building, now named Franklin Center. The company’s former office in Jefferson Towers had 4,000 square feet and was no longer big enough for its growing workforce, said Kathy Neifert, the company’s facility manager.
The company employs a total of 270 people in Ithaca, Syracuse and Endicott. It had 20 employess in Syracuse when it opened the branch at Jefferson Towers three years ago. Neifert said the new office has room for 68 employees.
Company officials said the new space provides the capacity for increased customer support, development and leadership functions across the company.
The new office was designed by MacKnight Architects and features an open-office design with exposed wooden ceiling and support beams, stone foundation walls, and glass-walled conference rooms with Syracuse place names, including Clinton, Elmwood, Armory, Forman and Hanover.
It also has a “fun room,” equipped with a foosball table, for employees to use during breaks.
In an ode to the building’s history, a piece of original factory machinery is displayed at the entrance to the office.
“We needed more space, and we really wanted to have an environment that was rewarding for our team members,” said CEO Steff McGonagle, who co-founded Envisage with Robb Jetty in Genoa in 1990.
McGonagle, a former Cayuga County farmer who taught himself how to write software, said he anticipates continued growth at all three of the company’s offices to support market demand.
The former factory in Franklin Square served as a warehouse for Hurbson Office Furnishings for many years before it was transformed into offices in 2002 by Hueber-Breuer Construction Co.
Envisage took over space vacated by CNY Works, a workforce development organization that moved to James Street after 10 years in Franklin Square, a former industrial center that has been transformed into tree-lined streets with apartments, condominiums, offices and retail shops. Other tenants of Franklin Center include Dermody, Burke & Brown accountants and the Blitman & King law firm.
Envisage started out developing software for the home health care industry. In the mid- to late 1990s, it began specializing in writing software for the retirement industry. Among its clients is the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund, the leading retirement provider for people who work in the academic, research medical and cultural fields.