The Great Wolf Lodge New England
When Great Wolf Resorts was searching for a location for its first location in New England, it selected the City of Fitchburg in North Central Massachusetts. The Wisconsin-based operator of indoor water park resorts bought a former Holiday Inn Hotel located in Fitchburg, not far from Route 2, and expanded the property with the addition of a 68,000 square foot indoor water park as well as a separate play area complete with miniature golf and a ropes course. The company looked at a number of locations and ultimately selected Fitchburg in North Central Massachusetts for its strong workforce, abundant water supply and proximity to Boston. More than 42 million families with children live within 300 miles of a Great Wolf Lodge.
Great Wolf Resorts invested $66 million in the project, including the construction and acquisition costs.
In return, the City of Fitchburg and the state provided a package of tax deferral incentives that helped support the development and job creation from the project. The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation worked with local and state officials to attract Great Wolf Resorts to the region and helped advocate for the tax incentives for the project. The project helped create over 500 jobs for the region and generates millions in new tax revenues for the city and state.
Located in Clinton, Massachusetts, Nypro A Jabil Company is a world-class leader in manufacturing precision plastic products for customers in the healthcare, packaging and consumer electronics industries. When demand exceeded the capacity of its headquarters in Clinton Massachusetts, management began looking at locations to expand. As a global company with 25 dedicated facilities in 11 countries and more than 8,000 employees worldwide, Nypro could have gone anywhere. But the company wanted to stay local to its roots in North Central Massachusetts and ultimately selected a location down the street from its headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts.
“It was important that we keep a close connection to our history as well as the technical resources at our headquarters in Clinton.” said John Witkowski, general manager, Nypro Healthcare, Clinton. “North Central Massachusetts also has the skilled workforce that we needed to continue to grow and a reputation as the center for the plastics industry in the Northeast.”
The 200,000-square-foot modern manufacturing facility features a state-of-the-art training area, metrology lab, a fully digitized machine shop, environmentally controlled chambers, and a 60,000-square-foot, Class 8 clean room. The new facility offers a full selection of Nypro Healthcare services—from product development, mold design and build, to injection molding and automated assembly—for single-use and electro-mechanical Class I, II and III healthcare devices. This additional operational space increases Nypro Healthcare’s clean-room space by 60 percent in Massachusetts and provides for 100 new jobs for the region.
When AIS was exploring options to consolidate its operations and headquarters, suitors from other states courted the company with tax incentives and other resources. But the award-winning manufacturer of commercial office furniture ultimately selected the City of Leominster in North Central Massachusetts as its new home because of the region’s skilled workforce, the local business climate and the collective support from local, regional and state officials. The City of Leominster was particularly instrumental in helping woo the company by providing tax incentives, site selection assistance, and a “can-do” attitude. “We looked around very aggressively, but the City of Leominster was amazing in support of our efforts, “ said Steve Savage, Chief Executive Officer for AIS, Inc.
The company evaluated a number of sites both inside and outside Massachusetts and ultimately settled on the facility at 25 Tucker Road in Leominster. The 588,000 square foot plant is a state of the art manufacturing site, which allowed the company to consolidate five Massachusetts locations into one, increasing efficiencies and lead-times. The facility currently houses the warehouse, distribution, shipping, receiving, woodshop, assembly, engineering and management. Approximately 400 employees are currently working in this location, with an additional 200 relocating into the building within a year.
Luxury Cuts opened its first barbershop in 2010 in Park Hill Plaza in Fitchburg. The Owner, Carlos Rosado had assembled a good team of barbers and someone he could trust with day-to-day operation of the staff. He was convinced he could do as well if not better in neighboring Leominster and sought to duplicate his success by opening a second shop in the Johnny Appleseed Plaza.
With the help of financing provided by the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, Carlos was able to expand his business and open up the second location in 2012. He now operates both locations successfully. This shop employs five barbers and the Fitchburg shop has another 3 barbers.
Ayer Shop and Save
In 2014, the Town of Ayer lost its only supermarket which deprived residents with access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as an anchor business that provided jobs and tax revenue. Mike Szelest, who had experience running a small market in Winchendon, saw a need in the community and a business opportunity.
The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation was able to help Mr. Szelest open Ayer Shop and Save in 2015 by providing some of the financing that he needed. The NCMDC partnered with North Middlesex Savings Bank on the project. Mr. Szelest also worked closely with Geronimo Commercial Properties and the Town of Ayer throughout this process. This new grocery store brought over 60 new job opportunities to Ayer, MA.
Shop and Save, which has an affiliation with Hannaford Supermarkets, provides quality products, friendly hometown service, and guaranteed low prices. With a square footage of 24,000 square feet, Shop and Save provides a sense of ease and comfort to the shopping experience. Mr. Szelest, along with his wife and son, operates Shop and Save as a full service supermarket offering national and “house” brands.
“I’m very grateful to the North Central MA Development Corporation for all their help and advice during this process,” said Mike Szelest, “without them none of this would be possible.”
Fitchburg Yarn Mill Redevelopment
When WinnDevelopment, the development arm of WinnCompanies, an award-winning national property development and management company, was looking for opportunities to invest in unique redevelopment opportunities in up and coming housing markets they selected the City of Fitchburg and the historic Fitchburg Yarn Mill building for their next development. The company invested $24.2 million in construction to transform the 110-year-old mill into 96 units of mixed-income housing. The mill building sits on 7.5 acres on the banks of the Nashua River near Downtown Fitchburg. Its 182,500 square feet of space span three massive floors and will feature 57 market rate units, 39 affordable units, community space and many exposed brick walls. The building boasts more than 280 8’ x 10’ windows that will provide each unit with expansive views of the scenic Nashua River and plenty of natural light.
“There is a collaborative gene in North Central, a genetic predisposition in the communities in the region to collaborate and work together,” said Michael O’Brien, Executive Vice President of Winn Companies. “We are here in North Central Massachusetts for those reasons. We believe in North Central Massachusetts. We see and sense the community collaboration and desire to make the magic happen. You have engaged leadership, you have dynamic long range plans, you integrate education and workforce needs and you understand that no one is going to give you a hand out …so hard work and perseverance make it happen.”