Cumberland County contractor Mowery adds second office in York
A Cumberland County construction company is opening a new office in York as part of a downtown redevelopment project, a move expected to fuel staffing growth for the firm.
David Cross, the president of Silver Spring Township-based R.S. Mowery & Sons Inc., which does business as Mowery, said he plans to open a 1,200-square-foot satellite office this month at 284 W. Market St. in York, former home of New Grounds Roasting Co.
"York is important to me personally and to Mowery as a company," Cross said. "I live in York. I've supported the economic development of this community through my time with the Redevelopment Authority of the City of York, and now I'm making a personal commitment by investing in the downtown community."
Cross also owns the building with his wife, Julie Lando-Cross, who owns Grit Marketing Group.
The business owners bought the vacant facility through their development company, CBKPP LLC, and announced plans in January to move Julie's company into the new space.
The couple has invested about $500,000 in the project, which includes the acquisition cost.
Grit will anchor the 10,000-square-foot building, occupying about 7,500 square feet. Renovations are expected to wrap up this month and both companies should be fully operational in the building in July, Cross said. A coffee shop also is in the works for the storefront space on the first floor.
Cross said the new space is a win-win for everyone involved. The couple gets a fully occupied building, and Mowery gets some new office space in the region.
Mowery has grown to about 70 employees this year. Cross believes his staff will rise to about 80 people by the end of the year based on continued growth in the commercial construction industry.
The company finished last year with $137.8 million in revenue. Cross said company revenue is up about 60 percent this year, citing growth in distribution and warehouse facilities as well as auto-dealership renovations.
Mowery also is known for building senior-living communities and higher education buildings, plus it has a team handling smaller adaptive reuse projects. The latter includes a few small apartment and office projects in downtown York.
Some of the projected staffing growth at Mowery could be driven by the new York office.
"We have grown by a significant amount," Cross said. "And we're a little tight for space here at the headquarters."
Cross said having an office in York should not only help Mowery pick up more work in York County, but also recruit employees who live in that part of the region. The company currently has about six people who live in York or southern York County.
The expectation is that those employees will occupy the new space, along with new recruits who may divide their time between York and Mowery's headquarters in Cumberland County.
"This opens us up to another pool of talent," he said.
But as the economy has improved and construction has picked up, construction-related firms have had a tough time finding skilled workers. In addition to people switching careers during the downturn, the construction workforce is getting older and a wave of retirements is expected in the coming years. And there are not enough young people pursuing construction jobs out of high school.
Mowery has a variety of job openings, with needs ranging from project estimators and managers to field staff and corporate accounting roles.
Once he wraps up the downtown York project, Cross said he hopes to find new projects that can spur ongoing revitalization in the city. Royal Square Development & Construction is one of several companies that has been investing heavily in downtown redevelopment.