Upholstery business buying Johnstown church

JOHNSTOWN – The Immaculate Conception Church, whose congregation was founded in 1925, stood for decades on Cayadutta Street as a place of worship before closing in 2009.

Now, the city landmark is being sold to a Lake George-based airplane upholstery repair company, officials say.

The company wants to transform the church into its latest operation and employ 10 people.

ReadyJet Technical Services, which has a local site at 1 Warren St., plans to take over the former church building, its church hall and the rectory.

The city Planning Board will have a public hearing on the project next month.

“I think it’s a great facility,” ReadyJet Technical Services Chief Operating Officer Mark Farrington said.

His application states ReadyJet Technical Services will conduct upholstery repair at the site.

The company, which has more than 400 employees at sites in North America, repairs upholstery covers and upholstered furniture to new condition and returns the items to aviation customers.

Farrington, a Mayfield resident, said his company has been in business since 1996.

He said his company is under contract to buy the former church property from the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese. The sale is not yet final.

The diocese in 2009 closed Immaculate Conception Church and St. Anthony’s Church, but kept St. Patrick’s Church as the city’s only Catholic church. St. Patrick’s was renamed Holy Trinity Church.

Diocese spokesman Kenneth Goldfarb said the diocese is negotiating with ReadyJet to sell the buildings. He said he cannot release the proposed selling price until the sale is final.

Goldfarb said he is unsure what will come of the church’s longtime Italian Festival, which in recent years became known as the Summer Festival on church grounds on Cayadutta Street.

He said Holy Trinity Catholic Church, as the city’s successor parish, most likely will make a decision on the festival.

The Rev. Donald Czelusniak, Holy Trinity pastor, couldn’t be reached this morning for comment.

Farrington said the company works with several airlines.

At the site of the formal church, Farrington said there will be no changes to curbs, lights or power, but there will be a sign. He said a 4-by-8-foot sign will be placed in the same place as an existing sign over the main entrance to the church hall.

Farrington said no large rigs will be driven at the site. He said two to three trucks a week will hand-deliver products.

“It’s pretty much overnight delivery,” he said. “I think it will be a good fit for the neighborhood.”

According to the ReadyJet Technical Services’ project application, there are no proposed changes to the church exterior. There will be no changes to the existing driveway and parking areas. All loading and unloading will occur in the parking lot at the main entrance to the hall.

The existing location for a commercial trash bin at 1 Warren St., on the south wall of the hall, will continue to be used.

Farrington said any spraying will be internal, and his operation requires no exhaust system.

Michael can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.