by Traci DeLore
March 18th, 2022
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Locked in by a lack of space and prohibitive real-estate prices in California, independent publisher PM Press looked east for opportunities to expand the business.
The search led the company to Binghamton and the 17,000-square-foot former home of Marli Manufacturing at 21 Emma St.
“We were very constrained in California,” PM Press co-founder Ramsey Kanaan says. The company had been operating for years from a 3,000-square-foot facility in Oakland, but the constraints of that location made it difficult for PM Press to grow, he adds.
Purchasing more space was not a real option, he says, and it was becoming hard for the company to find new employees when it needed them. “Basically, people couldn’t afford to move to the Bay Area because the cost of living is so high,” he adds.
The search for a new location led PM Press to Binghamton, where it now operates from its new facility while also maintaining its Oakland location.
With more than eight times the space it had in Oakland, the Emma Street facility gives PM Press all it needs to grow over the next decade, Kannan says. The space provides a “whole new vista of possibilities and potential,” he says. “We’re delighted.”
PM’s warehouse manager Andrew Pragacz, who grew up in Binghamton, is excited for all the new things the company can now do and offer. Along with two warehouse spaces, the site has several loading docks that make things easier and an ample parking lot the company hopes to use for more than just parking.
“We’re going to be able to have events here,” Pragacz says. Bookfairs, visiting authors, conferences, publicity events with booksellers, and even space available for community events and functions are all on the list of possibilities, he notes. And of course, the space has plenty of room for the books the company publishes and sells.
“This will allow us to carry more titles,” Pragacz says. “It’s a fantastic facility, so we didn’t have to do much in terms of the physical space.”
PM Press purchased the building in late December for $490,000 from 405 Commerce LLC. The company received a $13,720 sales and use tax exemption from the Broome County Industrial Development Agency.
PM Press currently has two employees in Binghamton, as well one in Ithaca and one in the Hudson Valley that work from home. Kanaan says employment in Binghamton will grow, but he declined to announce a specific number. The growth will be organic and match sales, he says. Currently, the company has 13 employees across its locations in Binghamton, Oakland, and the United Kingdom.
In 2021, PM Press generated sales of close to $1.5 million, Kanaan says. Sales have been growing steadily since 2019, he notes, and the firm is “on course to continue that.” He expects sales growth of 5-10 percent this year.
True growth for the company, however, is for it to have the ability to do all the things he wants the company to do. Moving the headquarters to Binghamton is just the first step toward reaching that goal, Kanaan adds.
Founded in 2007, PM Press (pmpress.org) defines itself as an “independent, radical publisher of books and media to educate, entertain, and inspire.” The company sells books, e-books, CDs and DVDs, and various merchandise such as T-shirts.