At the tail end of 2020, MDS HVAC-R Inc. purchased the old Borden factory building on Route 208, a Town of Montgomery artifact steeped in history. The Walden-based company provides installation and maintenance of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing.
Borden’s New York Condensed Milk Company built its largest condensory along Route 208. It was built to process the milk of cows in Ulster and Orange counties. In its heyday, it employed dozens of workers.
General Slicing Machine Company took over the property in the 1950s. Harry Wiener Family created the General Slicing Machine Company in the 1940s. The company, based in Brooklyn, immediately became known for their hand-operated slicers and hand-crank meat grinders. These products became the foundation of the company’s sales, with large retailers like Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward Co. featuring General heavily in their catalogs.
General Hardware was created as a specialized division focusing on small hardware items. Products from this division were sold through many specialized catalogs for the hobby trade. Of General Hardware’s many product lines, one of the most successful was the “Vacu-Vise”, an assortment of various hobby vices that would adhere to smooth surfaces using an innovative vacuum base. In fact, the product was so innovative that even today the basic design of these vices is still featured in a variety of products. General was also well known as a manufacturer of a specialized line of products for the home brewing and winemaking market called the “Capper-Corker”.
More recently, the former home of Borden’s New York Condensed Milk Company and the General Slicing Machine Company fell victim to a fire in the early 1990s, heavily damaging the building. In the years since then, the structure has withered due to neglect. Weeds cover the building where two businesses once thrived.
Dominick Diviesti, president of MDS HVAC-R Inc., noted that he purchased the old building because of its availability. He estimated that the price tag for the building was approximately $365,000. His employees are currently cleaning up the structure. Once that task is completed, Diviesti will work with an architect to design what the building will look like. After the renovations are finished, the company will work out of the old Borden facility as well as their current office on Plains Road in Walden.
Conor Eckert, executive director of the Town of Montgomery Industrial Development Agency, is excited to see the historic Borden factory building up and running again.
“This is an example of a company that wanted to establish a greater footprint in Montgomery and it’s gonna bring this old building back to life,” he said.
Eckert added that companies are moving to and expanding in the Town of Montgomery and across Orange County.
“We’re excited to see MDS locate their operations to the historic Borden factory. We welcome this company with open arms,” he said. “Overall, I’m seeing a good amount of economic development activity – new project leads and expansions, which is a great sign as we recover from the COVID pandemic.”