Detroit’s manufacturing history runs deep – from the iconic roar of automotive engines to assembly lines that revolutionized mass production, the Motor City has been a symbol of industrial might.
For Ganas Manufacturing Founder and CEO Richard Ganas, the city’s manufacturing history inspires his ever-expanding full-service fabrication shop, which specializes in architectural millwork, metalwork, furniture and custom buildouts. That inspiration has only increased following the company’s move to its new 30,000 square-foot facility at 3250 Bellevue.
“We’re walking into this building that was built in 1937 and always has been for manufacturing. It just felt like good energy, like we should be making stuff here,” Ganas said.
Born and raised in metro Detroit, Ganas received a degree in product design before moving to New York City to work for a start-up for nearly six years. As his experience increased, so did the desire to return to Michigan and find a home for his business in the Motor City.
“My wife and I always wanted to move back home. I had this vision of opening a shop here. I could have made it work in New York, but I would’ve had to share a shop space, and it’s just not as unique,” Ganas said.
The move to Detroit also allowed Ganas to be part of the city’s resurgence and leverage its diverse talent pool. In Detroit, it is easier to find engineers, suppliers, CNC operators and craftspeople due to its rich manufacturing history, he said. In addition, the city is a prime location for affordable manufacturing space.
In 2015, Ganas Manufacturing opened its doors in the city of Detroit. The company began with a focus on residential work and some minor commercial needs. In 2018, it had its introduction to architectural millwork and now works with larger commercial projects in-state and throughout the country. Some of its local projects include the Siren Hotel, the rebranding of Hotel St. Regis and the Ford Book Depository. Nationally, the company has worked with Market by Macy’s and ‘family experience’ retailer CAMP, among others.
Since its inception, Ganas has experienced a surge in growth, doubling in size during four of its eight years in operation. Today, the company has a total of 22 employees, of which 20 percent are Detroiters. The final surge compelled the company to contact the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation to find a new location that would accommodate its growth.
“Our main goal was to find a big enough space to house our current and future operations,” Ganas said. “There are a couple of spaces here that we want to use to build a community engagement space as well as find a tenant for our second-floor office that would bring some more life and energy to the neighborhood and building. The [Bellevue] location just feels up and coming, and the property was very affordable.”
Some areas the founder and CEO credit the DEGC for direction include Brownfield tax credits abatements, financial subsidies and connections to external organizations, such as Invest Detroit, which helped finance the move to Bellevue. Ganas has also begun working with Motor City Match, a small business incubator program that’s managed by the DEGC, to find business tenants for its current location.
“Growing companies like Ganas truly highlight the purpose of the DEGC’s Business Retention Program. It’s exciting to have been a part of their growth,” said DEGC Business Retention Manager Lauren Strickland.
As for the road ahead, Ganas envisions a dynamic future. In the coming months, he plans to expand his staff to 35 members. This expansion includes bringing the finishing department in-house and welcoming a cadre of skilled professionals, from engineers to estimators and shop employees. With a deliberate focus on nurturing vertical integration, Ganas is dedicated to fostering an environment where employees can flourish and advance in their careers.
“My sole purpose in this business isn’t to make money – I love what we do and love the team we have, so I think it’s building a business that allows our team to grow. (This is done) by investing in the team and investing in technology that will allow our current employees to be better utilized as well.”
You can learn more about GANAS MFG by visiting www.ganasmfg.com