June 16, 2008

Sedgwick Business Interiors Opens Ithaca Location

By Martino, Kristina

ITHACA - Sedgwick Business Interiors opened an office near the Cornell University campus in the beginning of May to improve service to its long-term customer, says Matthew W. Skinner, Sedgwick's director of sales.

Sedgwick - a full-service office-furniture dealership - began furnishing the interior of properties owned by Cornell University in 2000, Skinner says.

Sedgwick, an 11-year-old company, decided to open an office now to provide better support to Cornell University, Skinner says.

"It's a commitment to our Cornell University client," Skinner says.

He declined to disclose how much money the university has spent with Sedgwick.

Sedgwick is leasing 2,500 square feet of office space through the university at East Hill Plaza Shopping Center, which is adjacent to the Cornell campus. He declined to disclose lease-agreement details.

Four of Sedgwick's nearly 50 employees work in the Ithaca office Sedgwick may hire additional employees there in the future, Skinner adds.

The company's remaining employees are split between an office in Rochester and a 29,000-square-foot facility at 100 W. Court St. in Syracuse.

Under the now eight-year-old contract, Sedgwick furnishes any property owned by Cornell University including its main campus and its New York City buildings.

The university also operates many Cornell Cooperative Extension properties throughout New York State.

Cornell University has more than 730 real-estate interests located in 23 states and three foreign countries, according to the Cornell University Real-Estate Department Web site. Of those properties, 439 are located in New York, 37 are located in Texas, and 148 are located in Kansas, according to the site.

Skinner contends that the Ithaca office will maintain its focus on servicing Cornell University. The Syracuse office already covers clients in the Ithaca area. He says the Ithaca office's intent isn't to attract hew clients.

"The intent [of this office] is to service the university. But I would imagine that we're not going to turn anyone away," Skinner says.

Sedgwick opened in Rochester in 1997 and then started a Syracuse operation in 2001.

The company sells furniture made by Herman Miller, Inc., a global provider of office furniture and services based in Zeeland, Mich. Sedgwick also sells products for more than 200 other manufacturers of furniture for corporate, education, and health-care settings.

Copyright Central New York Business Journal May 16, 2008

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