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Business is booming at Pod 2
The dream has become a reality.
Once a shell housing only teams of hard-working construction workers, ‘Pod 2’ on the Rock Lititz campus has sprung to life in the past few weeks.
The $21.8 million Pod 2 makes intelligent use of the 250,000 square foot houses a variety of entertainment and creative arts companies.
Its first tenant was Upstage Video, whose 22 employees moved into the building in December.
Morgan Santoro, marketing manager, navigated Monday through the company’s new offices and warehouse filled with mobile and modular video screens and other equipment including mobile video trailers, trucks and camera packages used at the biggest live events across the globe.
Upstage Video, launched in 2005 by president, Doug Murray, relocated from Pottstown, a 60 minute drive from Lititz.
“The decision to move to Rock Lititz was an easy one,” Murray said. “Our clients look to us as a creative resource, not just as screen providers. Rock Lititz drives that mission.”
Upstage Video has been contracted by major sports networks, television broadcasts as well as political and corporate clients, major concerts and festivals, and special events like the 2015 World Meeting of Families featuring the Pope in Philadelphia. Pope Francis’ visit was without a doubt the largest single-site, multiple screen event in history. In addition to 31 LED screens at the main event in Philadelphia, the company also provided screens for Papal events in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
The new digs at Rock Lititz provide ample space for the company’s ever-increasing inventory of LED and production equipment for a growing clientele base in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
Upstage Video is headquartered at Pod 2 on the Rock Lititz Campus and has a second location in Los Angeles.
“The facility (Pod 2) is world class,” Murray said. “The collaboration between all companies and the resources we offer one another create a community not found anywhere else in the world.”
While only two spaces are not yet leased they are expected to be filled very soon according to Rock Lititz.
The Rock Lititz Studio, located in the mammoth building next door is of course the anchor tenant and the largest rehearsal studio in the world.
Others adjusting to new homes are Control Freak Systems, Gravie Kitchen, Lancaster General Health Lititz, Bike Works Lititz, recROC, OPUS, Pyrotek Special Effects, Rock-It Cargo, Rock Candy, Stray Production Services, Tour Supply, and Yamaha.
Brothers Jake and Josh Funk, operators of Gravie Kitchen + Commons restaurant, look to find enough hours in their busy schedules.
Gravie Kitchen + Commons, opened to the public last week in Pod 2, is a 150-seat restaurant and coffee shop at 201 Rock Lititz Blvd.
The brothers, who own and operate Annie Bailey’s in downtown Lancaster, have previously partnered with Rock Lititz offering catering serves when needed during the past two years.
“My brother and I are very excited about this project and to be a big part of the Rock Lititz community,” Josh said. “We purchased Annie Bailey’s three years ago and this is the first project we’ve had to build kind of from scratch. So it was a learning experience but also very rewarding.
Gravie Kitchen + Commons, which has 15 employees, is the first of a pair of restaurants the Funks plan to operate at Rock Lititz.
They have a tentative deal with a hotel developer to open a restaurant and bar inside the planned Rock Lititz hotel on the Warwick Township campus.
“We look forward to creating a new theme (restaurant) for the Lititz community,” he said. “It will be another challenge for my brother and I to kind of push the envelope and really stretch our restaurant muscles.”
Bike Works Lititz has taken up about 3,100-square-foot space in Pod 2.
Rebecca Branle, owner of Intercourse Bike Works with her husband Mark, said Rock Lititz approached them about opening a shop on their campus.
The full-service bike shop will offer sales and service of bikes and also sell clothing and accessories. It will feature a variety of bikes, including ones from BMC, a Swiss bike maker.
Like the shop in Intercourse, the new shop also will offer a variety of rental bikes for shop-sponsored sightseeing tours and feature a “wall of routes” for self-guided tours.
Lititz Bike Works will also oversee a cyclocross course that will be installed near the shop. The course, which will require bicyclists to dismount and carry their bikes past obstacles, is expected to open in the spring.
The shop is open 11 a.m to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
Atomic is another of the first companies which hit the ground running when Pod 2 construction completed last month.
It has a team of producers, designers, engineers, artists, storytellers, technicians and craftsmen provide set construction, rental solutions, design and production services to clients around the globe.
Rounding out the tenants: Clair Logistics/Clair Data Services-Clair will be providing shared services to the Rock Lititz community with their new Clair Logistics and Clair Data Services support teams.
- CM-ET works with companies from touring musical acts to large international sporting events. Columbus McKinnon helped revolutionize the entertainment industry with the CM-ET Lodestar and continues to serve as the leading supplier of hoists, winches and rigging products for entertainment professionals around the world.
- Control Freak Systems which designs, builds, integrates and supports custom control systems that result in unified authority over video, audio, and motion for the live-event industry. Control Freak Systems relocated from New Jersey to join Rock Lititz.
- Lancaster General Health plans an early spring opening for LG Health’s 8,000-square-foot space, with a goal of improving the health and well-being of the employees of Pod 2 tenant businesses.
- Lititz recROC-Lititz Recreation Center’s north Lititz location offers bouldering, obstacle course, cardio and strength equipment, ROCfit programs and more.
- OPUS, a creative content studio of producer/director Travis Detweiler, who has relocated the company’s headquarters from downtown Lancaster. It specializes in producing visual content for bands and brands.
- Pyrotek Special Effects, uses anything from flames to water, lasers to confetti and more The professional’s choice for end-to-end special effects solutions, Pyrotek helps its clients create and deliver exceptional moments in their shows. For decades, they have been offering the highest level of efficiency in product delivery, safety, reliability and performance, with a focus on being flexible to meet clients’ needs, creating ground-breaking experiences in the process. Their Lititz location joins offices in Las Vegas, New York and Nashville, where they will focus on product development and training.
- Rock-It Cargo, a world-class company in the specialty freight industry. For 35 years they have been the leading logistics company for entertainment and live events, offering special care and unparalleled personal attention clients can depend on. The Lititz-based Rock-it Cargo location will include accounting, entertainment logistics and storage services for the live event industry.
- Rock Candy-Co’s work and shared work spaces that offer an affordable office solution for small businesses, freelancers, remote workings and more. The creative and collaborative environment promotes a new way to work, based on the success of their original location, The Candy Factory in downtown Lancaster. The 2,400 -square-feet space will house 30 full time members, and also have flex space for drop-ins. candyissweet.com
- Stray Production Services-Since its 1999 inception as a small stage lighting company in Lititz, Stray has expanded their offerings to include a full complement of production services in both Pennsylvania and beyond. From intimate weddings to large-scale staging installations, their innovative designs in lighting and sound provide unique and memorable experiences.straypro.com
- Tour Supply partnering with JH Audio, Olympic Case, Road Radios, and Sennheiser – Tour Supply Inc, founded in 1998, is the industry leader in supplying necessary equipment to touring professionals world-wide. They offer a number of products and services which are available at four locations throughout the US (CA, TN, MN, PA) and another in the UK (Manchester). At Rock Lititz, Tour Supply will feature products from Pro Tapes, Pelican, Sennheiser, JH Audio, Radial Engineering, Road Radios, Olympic Case, and other quality manufacturers, offering one-stop shopping for touring professionals. www.toursupply.com
- Yamaha-Yamaha Corporation of America is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, and through the Yamaha Professional Audio Division offers sound reinforcement, recording and commercial installation products to the U.S. market.
- Rock Lititz Studio, is of course the original tenant on the Rock Lititz campus is The Studio. The first purpose-built production rehearsal facility in the industry, The Studio is designed to program, test and rehearse large-scale live events. With 30,000 square-feet of open rehearsal space, and an additional 22,000-square-feet of high-end production amenities, 100 feet to the roof and a grid capacity of one million pounds, The Studio is the tallest and strongest building of its kind in the world.
Patrick Burns is a staff writer and social media editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 721-4455.
About Patrick Burns
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