Situated in a historic building, a once-suburban startup is now based along a Northwest Philadelphia business corridor.
Earlier this month, BuLogics, Inc. announced that they have departed their Malvern headquarters and have set up shop at the prominent Mason Building, located at the intersection of Ridge and Midvale avenues in East Falls.
Founded in 2003, BuLogics is a wireless embedded software engineering firm that has completed numerous national projects, and recently adopted a new focus on energy management tools for apartment buildings and other multiple dwelling units. Among their local projects was a $175,000 award from the city in 2010 to install its energy control systems at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Inn at Penn, according to the company’s website.
The move to East Falls, said company officials, is in response to their plans for growth, which require the supply of technology-related talent that Philadelphia has in abundance.
“This move couldn’t be better timed for BuLogics,” said BuLogics CEO Felicite Moorman in a statement, referencing the company’s recent engineering developments. In addition, they’re hiring, and are looking to add several positions to the 11-member company.
At the same time, the move was designed to ease the commute of current employees, some of whom were traveling up to two hours.
“That waste of time and talent is just unacceptable, especially for an Energy Management company,” said Moorman. “There are so many worthwhile opportunities within the city of Philadelphia.”
Settling in at the ‘perfect location’
According to the firm, BuLogics invested a considerable amount of effort in finding what they deemed “the perfect location.” Among the Mason Building’s chief attributes are its proximity to the Schuylkill river and the Kelly Drive Bike Trail, along with several nearby train and transit stops. The location itself features an open floor plan with abundant light.
BuLogics residency is the latest incarnation for a building that began its existence as a Masons’ meeting hall. Over the years, it has served as home to a neighborhood hardware store, a deli, an arts gallery, and a thrift store.
The building is owned by East Falls’ real estate magnate Mark Sherman. He told NewsWorks in 2011 that he bought the building in 2003 with the hope of restoring it and bringing it back to its “original glory.”
Sherman wasn’t immediately available on Wednesday for comment on his new tenants, but BuLogics observed that they went from site selection to move in a mere two weeks. It will share the building with its second floor tenants, Metro Presbyterian Church, who began leasing space in the building in May of 2012.
For Gina Snyder, executive director of the East Falls Development Corporation, securing BuLogics in such a prominent site is a major step forward for the Ridge Ave. business corridor.
She noted that the intersection of Ridge and Midvale avenues is an important junction for East Falls, and that having the building visibly occupied will be beneficial for the neighborhood.
“The lights will be on,” she said, “which will be good to see.”
To reinforce the impact of new signage and an overall makeover across Ridge Ave. at the former Major Wing Lee Grocery Market – it’s now known simply as Majors – Snyder said that BuLogics will be working with the EFDC to implement a storefront improvement project.
Most important to Snyder, however, was the youthful disposition of BuLogics. Noting that the staff is comprised of “Millennials” – also known as Generation Y, people said to be born from roughly 1980 to 2000 – she feels that the company’s relocation serves as a positive development for both the community and for the city as a whole.
“East Falls is attractive to Millennials,” observed Snyder, noting that the hillside neighborhood is home to a sizable number of young adults, who bring with them talent, enthusiasm, and tech savvy.
It’s a sentiment echoed by BuLogics’s CEO.
“There’s a tremendous talent pool and technology community in this city,” said Moorman. “We are excited to return.”