Nupro aims to build plant, double workforce in Deerfield

  • SVE Associates engineer Tony Wonseski, left, Nupro co-founder Jeff Ethier, and One Development and Construction engineer Derek Helie address the Deerfield Select Board. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

  • One Development and Construction engineer Derek Helie, who is the lead engineer on Nupro’s proposed headquarters, presents plans to the Deerfield Select Board on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer
Published: 10/1/2022 7:00:20 AM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Three years after they began looking for a site that could accommodate their rapidly growing polyurethane manufacturing business in Deerfield and Whately, officials at Nupro LLC hit pay dirt only a few miles up the road.

Now the 7-year-old company is poised to build a new 125,000-square-foot headquarters building off Merrigan Way, double or triple its production capacity over the next five years, and add more than 50 high-paying manufacturing jobs, which would double its current workforce. Nupro develops polyurethane film, which is primarily used to protect paint on vehicles from chipping or other abrasions.

In addition to winning local support from town officials this week, the project has caught the attention of state officials at the Commonwealth’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, which approved Nupro’s project — along with four others — through its Economic Development Incentive Program. These projects are expected to create a combined 373 net new jobs and retain 1,401 jobs throughout Massachusetts, while leveraging approximately $300 million in private investment.

The economic assistance agency said in a press release that Nupro will make a more than $25 million private investment, equip its new facility with $8 million to $10 million of new processing equipment and components, create 58 jobs and retain 46 jobs. Additionally, the town of Deerfield has approved a 10-year tax increment financing plan, or TIF, valued at approximately $332,223, while the economic assistance agency has approved investment tax credits in the amount of $580,000.

The company in August purchased two parcels of land off Merrigan Way in South Deerfield from the town — for $450,000 and $62,500 — and plans to relocate its headquarters there in 2024. Nupro now has two production facilities, one already in Deerfield and one at 10 Sandy Lane in Whately, next to the Whately town offices.

Nupro Managing Director and co-founder Jeff Ethier said the company has experienced “rapid growth” over the last several years and that it has been looking for a new space to house its operations under one roof since 2019.

“We did a 15-mile radius from basically Deerfield and our search came up pretty empty,” Ethier said. “It’s hard to find good industrial space in Franklin County.”

After searching for a while, Ethier said the company was informed Deerfield was seeking to sell these two parcels, which have changed hands several times over the last 15 years. The Oxford Pickle shop operated on the site until 2007 and the town acquired the land in 2012. In 2018, the town sold the land to New England Natural Bakers for a proposed development that never took off.

The town reacquired it in 2019 and divided the parcel into two lots — one of which is a 1-acre non-building lot — in 2020 before looking for a buyer in 2021. Nupro was awarded a purchase bid last October and finalized the purchase at the end of August.

With the new land in hand, Nupro plans to build a 124,680-square-foot building that will serve as the company’s headquarters, manufacturing and storage facility. Ethier said the company currently leases its two other buildings and will “exit those and move under one roof” when this project is complete.

Remaining in the region, Ethier said, will allow Nupro to continue to grow as one of the “premiere” employers of Franklin County by offering high-wage manufacturing jobs, which will bring more revenue to the town.

“We’re committed to staying in Franklin County,” Ethier said, adding that paying high wages to their workers will help the region grow. “If we can keep our employees happy, that means keeping our customers happy, leading to being a much more profitable business in Franklin County. You’re investing in the local economy that way.”

The key to the relocation efforts, beyond the “desire to stay local,” Ethier said, was to find space for the more than 50 employees Nupro already has and then try to double that in the near future.

“Over the next five years we plan on creating additional capacity for production … essentially double or triple capacity,” he said.

The plan is to move into the building by April 2024. On Wednesday night, Nupro began the expedited permit application process with the Select Board. The board signaled its support for the project, but did not take a vote because it will be contracting Berkshire Design Group to conduct a peer review of the stormwater and wetland management plans — a decision that Planning Board Chairw Analee Wulfkuhle and the Conservation Commission agreed with at a Sept. 22 meeting.

Nupro’s public hearing will continue at the Nov. 2 Selectboard meeting.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.
Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Daily Hampshire Gazette Valley Advocate

Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy