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Dexter Industrial Center
In 1985, Frontier acquired what is now known as the Dexter Industrial Center, also known locally as the “Miracle on the Hill”. The building was a former sulfite mill that had been unoccupied since 1953. The building, which is located in the Village of Dexter, was reconstructed and converted into a multi-industrial facility, creating 40 jobs during the first phase of the project. In 1984, the building was designed as a Foreign Trade Zone, meaning businesses that import raw materials don’t have to pay the duty until the product is exported out.
In 1996, Frontier began a new phase of improvements to the Dexter Industrial Center. Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, Frontier applied for and received $91,400. These funds were used to perform extensive stucco work on the entire exterior of the building, as well as for the installation of a new ventilation system and the paving of an additional parking lot on the west side. In 2001, Frontier received its second Rural Business Enterprise grant for the Dexter Industrial Center. Funds were used to replaces 59 windows around the building, and install 4 additional windows on the south side of the structure. In 2004 Frontier received its third Rural Business Enterprise grant for Dexter Industrial Center. Funds were used to replace the roof on the building.
Until 2018, the industrial center housed three tenants: Hana Sportswear, Inc., its original tenant; ABC I (originally known as Venus Manufacturing Corporation), a swimwear manufacturer; and Cardinal Construction NY, Inc., a commercial contracting firm. Together, these companies employed approximately 120 people, with an annual payroll of over one million dollars. The majority of these employees were low and moderate income residents of the Town of Brownville. ABC I and Hana Sportswear, Inc. were users of the freight elevator. They received goods in and ship finish goods out by way of the elevator. This elevator is an integrate part of the Industrial Center. The Dexter Industrial Center has had a significant impact on the economy of the Town of Brownville and its three villages.
The Dexter Industrial Center is a three- story reinforced concrete structure consisting of 39,098 square feet of leasable space, with a leasable office wing of 1,440 square feet. Because of the slope of the hill into which the facility is built, its three floors are all effectively accessed at grade level by tractor – trailers making deliveries and receiving shipments. The facility is easily reached by U.S. Interstate 81, which lies approximately six miles east to the Village of Dexter. The Watertown International Airport is also very close proximity, located less than two miles from the facility.