PITTSFIELD – There’s a ridge off Crawford Road in Pittsfield that has an unbeatable view. Standing in what once was a cow pasture, visitors can see east, all the way to the Dixmont mountains. On a fall morning, the colors are spectacular and the panorama of the entire town spread out below is stunning.
But it is the location on busy Interstate 95 that prompted Moosehead Log Homes of Greenville to build a new sales model and to plan an entire campus of structures and storage here.
“This is a perfect spot,” Michelle Pelletier, head of sales, said.
Already there is a 1,200-square-foot model home onsite that will be used as office space, and there are several more structures planned. A 3,000-square-foot model home, another smaller home and a dry shed facility, which will be used for storage space, are expected to be completed in phases over the next year.
Pelletier explained that no jobs will leave Greenville. The northern facility will remain intact as both a manufacturing and sales venture.
“But all our windows, doors and dimensional stock that are purchased were being shipped to Greenville and then we would repack it and ship it out,” she said.
“It made sense to eliminate that extra trip,” she said. The Greenville facility will serve the sales needs of the Greenville area, while the Pittsfield unit will provide sales in central and southern Maine and out-of-state locations.
As the facility is completed, up to 25 new jobs will be added, she said.
The model home already completed should be ready by Nov. 1, Pelletier said.
“We used a lot of local services in readying the building and site,” she said. “It has really been a pleasure getting to be part of the community.”
Without a solid working partnership between town officials and company management, the move never would have happened.
Town Manager Kathryn Ruth said Pittsfield went through a number of complicated steps, including applying for a state grant for the company and making the Crawford Road site part of its Pine Tree Zone, to ensure its location in the town. The business also fits with Pittsfield’s emphasis on the wood products industry.
“The location was strategic for the company and provides great visibility for marketing purposes,” she said this week. “The town’s focus upon forest products and advanced technology value-added wood products was a great fit with the company’s expansion plans and the zone’s emphasis upon natural resource-based industries. This type of industry cluster allows opportunities for advances in innovation and increased productivity within the region.”
In late 2005, Pittsfield was awarded a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant, which was passed on to the company. “The $400,000 grant emphasizes the creation of jobs in communities that serve areas with high unemployment,” Ruth said. “As a service center, the town of Pittsfield also employs people from the region. The grant requires the creation of 14 jobs, of which 51 percent must be for low- and moderate-income individuals.”
Ruth said that not only will Moosehead’s facility put area people to work, it will add to the town’s tax base. She estimated that more than $900,000 will be invested in the community through the facility.
“With over 40 grant applications within the last few years, the town of Pittsfield has been amazingly fortunate to receive millions of dollars for capital investment into the community,” Ruth said. “This is all capital investment that would not have happened without the grant opportunities.”
Ruth said Moosehead has been a “great company to work with and it is clear that they are committed to providing high-quality log homes. This will be an excellent employer for the community.”