Point of Beginning

Keystone Associates Eyes Delaware County Expansion

October 20, 2008
Keystone Associates, LLC of Binghamton recently acquired the records from David J. Beers Land Surveying in Hancock. Keystone will use the records to boost its efforts to expand its business into Delaware and Sullivan counties.

BINGHAMTON - With land-surveying records from a now defunct Delaware County firm in hand, architectural, engineering, and surveying firm Keystone Associates, LLC, hopes to expand its business in Delaware and Sullivan counties. Keystone Associates recently acquired 18 years worth of land-surveying data from David J. Beers Land Surveying in Hancock, according to Rodney Carey, member-survey manager and part owner of Keystone Associates.

Carey, who is active with the Southern Tier Association of Land Surveyors, says he heard Beers, who was already spending his winters in Florida, was ready to close up shop for good and retire.

"As soon as I could get ahold of him, I asked him what his plans were," Carey says. In the end, Carey struck a deal for Keystone to acquire Beers' records, files, maps, and even some equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are trying to get a little bit more work in Delaware County down into Sullivan County," Carey says. Filling the void left by Beers' retirement is a good way for the company to ease into those two counties, he says.

"My ultimate goal is to open another office in Hancock," he says. Three Keystone employees who live in the Hancock area will staff that office. Carey hopes to find a location and have an office open by the first of the year or shortly thereafter. The office is part of Keystone's plans to expand beyond the Binghamton area. Both Sullivan and Delaware counties have been experiencing a growth in building projects in recent years, while business in other areas such as Broome County has been a little slower, Carey says.

Delaware County, in particular, is becoming a popular summer home location for people from New York City and New Jersey, he says. Keystone, which provides services from surveying to engineering to interior design, has benefited from that increased interest.

The retirement of surveyors such as Beers has also benefited Keystone because there aren't any new surveying firms opening up, Carey says. That means firms like Keystone are able to pick up the slack when others retire and expand business.

In fact, Carey says, he hopes to negotiate with several other surveyors he knows that are looking to retire in order to acquire their records and clients.

The lack of new surveyors also makes it challenging for Keystone, which currently employs about 50 people, to hire new employees. However, the company recruits aggressively at colleges with civil technology programs as well as surveying schools across the state, Carey says.

Kenneth Ellsworth (majority owner), Paul Bedford, and Carey own Keystone Associates (www.keystoneassociatesllc.com), which is headquartered in the Kelly Building at 229-231 State St. in Binghamton. The company has about 20 active engineering projects, 20 architecture projects, and 60 active surveying projects at any given time, Carey says.

Although he declined to share revenue figures or growth projections, Carey says he is optimistic the business will grow.

"I think there's a lot of new growth coming in this area," he says.