Award-Winning Independent Design and Manufacturing Company Finalizes Move of Headquarters from Brooklyn to the Town of Ulster
Empire State Development today announced the grand opening of the new global headquarters for RBW, a lighting design and manufacturing company, in the town of Ulster. In order to meet growing customer demand, RBW has acquired a new 100,000 square foot facility and will invest over $5.4 million for acquisition, construction and renovation and the purchase of machinery and equipment for their operations. Empire State Development has awarded RBW up to $547,500 in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits in exchange for the retention of 35 and the creation of 49 new, local jobs.
Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said, "RBW has a forward-thinking vision that incorporates sustainability, cutting edge research and development, as well as innovation into their facility and products. We are pleased that they chose to locate their manufacturing facility in the Mid-Hudson Region."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "RBW is a dynamic and creative company and is a perfect fit for the vibrant and up and coming Mid-Hudson Region. Manufacturing is an important component to the regional economy and RBW is creating beautiful products and their investment is bringing good jobs to Ulster County."
RBW Managing Partner Charles Brill said, "RBW is looking forward to growing into its new headquarters for innovation and creativity in Kingston. We’re placing innovation at the forefront of all our projects and letting that mindset lead us. Whether that’s honoring our B Corp commitment and making a positive impact on the planet and our community, or establishing a state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 factory floor, we plan to be on the frontier of it all."
RBW was founded in 2008 by Rhode Island School of Design graduates Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alex Williams. The three were college roommates sharing a basement studio on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and determined to embark on their design career, started out upcycling found objects to create furniture and eventually lighting fixtures. Early success landed them clients such as Urban Outfitters and eventually Fitbit, Yelp, Uber as well as high-end hotels across the country. From the Lower East Side, the company eventually established their headquarters in Brooklyn and after expanding several times, has set up operations in a new and larger facility in the Mid-Hudson Region that is 8x the scale of their previous headquarters and production space.
RBW has renovated 100,000 square feet of their building, located at 575 Boices Lane, which has been largely vacant for the last five years. They added a new roof, solar panels, energy efficient LED lighting, daylight harvesting, dimming controls, and use collaborative robotics.
Senator Michelle Hinchey said, "When visionary companies like RBW decide to move their global manufacturing headquarters to small upstate cities like Kingston, it feeds local innovation, delivers good local jobs, and supports the growth of a skilled local workforce — everything we are working towards to firmly establish upstate as a real economic driver. I’m proud to support this momentous grand opening, and I thank RBW for focusing its expansion in Ulster County."
Acting Ulster County Executive Johanna Contreras said, "RBW is exactly the type of business we are striving to bring to Ulster County: a manufacturer that looks toward the future, cares for its workers by paying a living wage, and has an environmentally sustainable work model. I speak for the residents of Ulster County when I say thank you for choosing Ulster County for your headquarters."
As an award-winning, independent design and manufacturing company, RBW is an American brand for a higher quality of light. By listening closely to the needs of customers, RBW’s forward-thinking, technology-driven approach invents lighting solutions that are out of the ordinary—products that take on unprecedented shapes or make subtle upgrades on familiar forms. Each collection embodies a distinct personality while upholding the hallmarks of RBW’s family DNA: Intuitive ease and simplicity. Integrity of craft and material. High-quality lighting with a playful point of view. As a Certified B Corp, RBW’s goal is to expand their status as a leader in the lighting design industry and make a positive impact on both the planet and community by upholding the highest standards in social and environmental accountability. Meticulously engineered for a broad range of applications, RBW lighting has been installed all over the world, from the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen to Fortune 500 company offices across the United States. Thoroughly invested in customer success, RBW prides itself on providing excellent service, delivering quickly and reliably, while product specialists faithfully remain on call. For more information, visit: www.rbw.com.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.