BRUNSWICK — Despite the economic slowdown, the company credited with facilitating the region’s growing composites industry cluster is pushing expansion plans at the Brunswick Industrial Park.
Allied Composites Center LLC will appear before the Planning Board Tuesday, Jan. 13, to seek preliminary approval for a 58,000-square-foot expansion that President Jim Howard hopes will bring between 50 and 150 new jobs to the region.
According to Howard, the two-building project is worth an estimated $6 million and could serve as incubator space for future tenants at Brunswick Naval Air Station. The base is slated to close in 2011, but Howard said some businesses interested in the Allied expansion have also expressed interest in possibly moving to BNAS if start-up ventures prove successful.
Howard said Allied has yet to sign tenants for its new expansion, but that it is in talks with several companies, including three based in Maine and one from out of state.
“It’s certainly more challenging to do this project during these economic times,” Howard said. “But we decided to go ahead and do this so that we have the space ready for companies who want to move here.”
Howard said that although it is probably safer to wait and sign tenants before moving ahead with construction, such a scenario rarely materializes. He said companies seeking expansion typically want to do so quickly while they have the financing.
Howard, who has supported a regional business park, added that the region’s shrinking park space meant some companies had to be turned away.
“We don’t have space to bring customers in,” Howard said. “There’s no place to put them. We’re talking with customers who want to move here, but can’t.”
At just over five acres, Allied’s expansion will occupy the remaining space at the Brunswick Industrial Park.
The park also falls under the Military Redevelopment Zone, a Pine Tree Zone spinoff created to lure companies to the area by offering breaks on taxes and utilities. In exchange, the companies must offer jobs with a minimum annual compensation package of $34,000.
Allied’s expansion plan includes two buildings, one of 40,000 square feet and the other of 18,000 square feet.
Howard said the larger building could either be occupied by one large tenant or two mid-size companies. The smaller building, he said, would attract several smaller companies interested in sharing loading docks or reception areas.