NEW YORK — Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation of Boston has opened a new facility on Long Island close to midtown Manhattan.
The 60,000, square-foot facility can accommodate up to 220 livery vehicles, said Dawson Rutter, owner, founder, and CEO of Commonwealth. It sits along 30th Avenue in Long Island City, about eight blocks from the Midtown Tunnel. The new facility replaces two 19,000-square foot garages that Commonwealth had been using in the area.
Commonwealth will start out at the site with a fleet of 120 Lincoln Town Cars, Suburban SUVs, Mercedes sedans, stretch limousines, and luxury executive vans, Rutter said. Commonwealth operates a similar fleet mix of 70 vehicles at its Boston headquarters. All 190 vehicles are company-owned.
Commonwealth’s new quarters coincide with its fleet and chauffeured services expansion that focuses on clients in the New York metro region. With the new facility, all operations are being brought under one roof, allowing the company to increase office staff to handle the additional business, streamline its operations, and expand customer service.
“After searching for two years for the right location to accommodate our planned expansion, we are happy to finally be in this new space,” Rutter said. “It was important to me that we keep the business within city limits. This new facility keeps us in Queens, which gives us quick and easy access to Manhattan clients and maintains accessibility for our inner-city employees.”
Commonwealth Worldwide is the preferred limousine transportation provider for the St. Regis, The Carlyle, and The Plaza hotels, and is in discussions with other New York properties. Rutter estimates that about 40% of Commonwealth’s New York-related business comes from luxury hotels. The expansion also allows Commonwealth to meet growing demand from hotel partners and support New York’s travel industry.
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City has recognized Commonwealth Worldwide five years in a row as one of their Inner City 100. The list, compiled annually by ICIC, illustrates that inner cities have successful and innovative business practices, are tapping into the available inner city workforce, and have significant buying power. The companies they recognize, including Commonwealth Worldwide, are the 100 fastest growing inner city firms in the U.S. that contribute to the growth of inner city economies.
Although the recession and financial industry downturn in Boston and New York has forced Commonwealth to downsize its fleet from 240 vehicles in November 2007 to 190 now, it has seen revenue growth in its New York operations from $12 million in 2007 to $13 million in 2008, Rutter said.
Commonwealth was ranked as the 16th largest chauffeured transportation fleet on LCT’s Top 100 Fleets list in the August 2008 issue of LCT Magazine.
Sources: Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine, and Commonwealth Worldwide