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Baby-products maker 4moms to add 120 jobs in Downtown

| Thursday, May 22, 2014, 12:12 p.m.

A fast-growing manufacturer of high-tech baby products is expanding to Downtown, a move that is expected to add at least 120 jobs.

The company, 4moms, signed a lease for space at 912 Fort Duquesne Blvd. and expects to move its offices there in the fourth quarter of the year.

The 135-person company outgrew its Strip District digs, said CEO Robert Daley. Pittsburgh is the city where 4moms wants to be.

“Pittsburgh is definitely our home,” Daley said. “It's where the business is born and bred.”

Founded in 2005 as Thorley Industries, 4moms develops baby gear amped up with robotics and has ties to Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute. The company's products include a self-collapsing stroller, infant seat that sways, and an infant tub that lets clean water flow in while dirty water flows out.

4moms is headquartered in the Strip District's Crane Building and has warehouse space in the former Benkovitz Seafoods property.

It will move from the Crane property but keep its presence in the Benkovitz building, offering bicycles to employees who want to travel between the locations, said spokeswoman Kate Sundy-Hong.

The announcement of 4moms' Downtown move was hailed by the property's owner and Gov. Tom Corbett, who said it offered evidence of how Pittsburgh and the state are leading technology innovation and economic growth.

“I think this is a great thing for the region,” said Bill Hunt, president and CEO of the Elmhurst Group, which has owned the building since March 2012. “It's another example of a tech company, a new economy company, that is not moving out of Pittsburgh but moving into Downtown.”

“4moms is a tremendous Pittsburgh success story that has recruited local talent from the region's colleges and universities to become one of the most innovative companies in its industry,” Corbett said in a statement.

The company expects to add 120 jobs with this expansion and could grow to 300 employees by next year, Daley said.

It accepted a $200,000 grant proposal from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, though it must apply for the money and agree to certain terms, Corbett said.

The company expects to invest at least $4.7 million at its new site and, depending on how quickly it adds employees, take over more of the building.

“We're growing like mad,” Daley said.

Chris Fleisher is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7854 or cfleisher@tribweb.com.

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