Major College Point manufacturer looking to expand

By Alex Robinson

One of the country’s largest window manufacturing companies, based in College Point, is planning an expansion.

Crystal Window & Door Systems has considered a number of sites across the country as well as in the tri-state area, but has not yet found a site that matches what it is looking for, said Bob Nyman, a company spokesman.

“[Owner] Thomas Chen is actively looking at all areas in the country where we can find a cost-effective deal,” he said.

The company plans to keep its headquarters at 31-10 Whitestone Expressway.

It has looked at opening facilities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Westchester County recently. Chen also considered spaces within the city, in Mott Haven, Jamaica and the College Point Corporate Park. He is hoping to find a 20-acre property which is in the right configuration at a cost-effective price, Nyman said.

“There is not a specific deadline, date or locations as to where the company would like to expand. It’s a very fluid situation,” Nyman said.

The company was started in 1990 by Taiwanese immigrant Thomas Chen in a small garage operation in College Point with only 10 employees. Crystal Windows grew over the years and now employs 400 workers at its factories and branches.

In 1996, the company made its first major expansion into Chicago, which enabled the company to access new markets. Crystal Windows now distributes its products in 35 states across the country.

The company has since added major facilities in California and Missouri. Crystal Windows also opened sales distribution offices in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Ohio. These offices do not manufacture products, but have warehouses to sell and distribute the company’s products.

“All of these expansion initiatives were intended to increase Crystal’s production capacity and have never been intended to replace the Queens facility,” said Steve Chen, Thomas’ son and the chief operating officer of the company, in a statement. “As Crystal continues to gain market share in other parts of the nation, the company needs to have additional production facilities in close proximity to those markets to stay competitive.”

Steve Chen insisted the company is not looking to move its College Point facility and is simply looking to expand into new markets.

“Crystal is not moving,” he said. “The company’s headquarters and main production facility in the College Point Corporate Park in Queens will remain where it is for the foreseeable future.”

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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