For Immediate Release - January 03, 2008

Thirteen Companies and Seven Municipalities Receive Incentives For Economic Development

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approves economic development projects to grow businesses and create jobs in Massachusetts

BOSTON - (Thursday, January 3, 2007) - Undersecretary of Business Development Greg Bialecki and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development Patrick Cloney, announced today that 13 companies in 9 municipalities were approved for incentives to expand their operations in the Commonwealth. In addition, seven municipalities were designated Economic Opportunity Areas.

"As this administration closes out its first year, it's very heartening to see the number of homegrown companies growing and thriving here in Massachusetts," Undersecretary Bialecki said. "We are committed to providing the tools necessary to make growth not just a possibility, but a probability."

The projects were approved at the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) meeting in Boston and are expected to create 313 jobs, retain 1,336 jobs and spur almost $186 million in private investment.

The Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) is a state and local tax incentive program that can significantly reduce the cost of doing business for companies expanding or locating in Massachusetts. All EDIP projects go before the EACC, a public-private body comprised of eleven members. The group meets eight times a year and is responsible for designating Economic Target Areas (ETAs), Economic Opportunity Areas (EOAs), and Certified Projects- the 3 steps in the Economic Development Incentive Program.

Certified projects may receive state tax incentives, including a five-percent investment tax credit for qualifying tangible, depreciable assets. There also is a 10-percent abandoned building tax deduction for costs associated with the renovation of buildings that have been more than 75-percent vacant for at least the previous two years. In addition, such businesses qualify for municipal tax incentives, including tax increment financing or special tax assessments.

Seven communities designated Economic Opportunity Areas, areas inside existing ETA's that the municipality finds to be a priority for future economic development. Those communities are: Everett, Lawrence, Leominster, Pittsfield, Shirley, South Hadley and Worcester.

The other projects approved today are:

Agawam -Steve & Barry's

National retailer Steve & Barry's will lease 42,000 square feet in a vacant building in Agawam. To prepare for the business, the building, owned by Agawam Development and Agawam Plaza, needs a new floor, ceiling tiles, electricity, plumbing and HVAC upgrades as well as an updated sprinkler system and fire alarm. The parcel is located in an Exceptional Opportunity Area, as designated by the Undersecretary of Business Development in June.

4 full-time jobs to be created, 80 permanent part-time jobs to be created, $1 million in private investment

Ayer-L-3 Communications ESSCO

L-3 Communications, a New York-based defense contractor, is merging two of its units December 31, 2007 and the consolidation is necessitating an expansion. Wolf Coach will merge into ESSCO and the new unit will be housed in Ayer. L-3 is leasing and renovating a 216,000 square foot abandoned building to meet its manufacturing requirements.

30 jobs to be created, 235 jobs to be retained, $12.5 million in private investment

Chelsea -Alkermes

Alkermes, a world leader in the development of products based on drug delivery technologies, is expanding the Chelsea pharmaceutical plant in operation since 2003. The site produces inhaled insulin and has partnered with Eli Lilly & Company to bring the product to Phase 3 clinical trials. Alkermes is now anticipating FDA approval and product launch, and will therefore add clean room and mechanical support space, add production lines and upgrade utilities.

70 jobs to be created, 400 jobs to be retained, $60 million in private investment

Everett -Prolerized New England

Prolerized New England, a metals recycling company, plans to expand its current facility to meet growing demand. They plan to pave the site, reconfigure current equipment and invest in advanced technologies to improve business efficiencies.

8 jobs to be created, 123 jobs to be retained, $36 million in private investment

Lawrence -Bagel Boy

Bagel Boy has outgrown their previous location in Lawrence and will renovate a vacant building on South Union Street to expand. Bagel Boy is a large scale manufacturer of bagels and pita chips.

55 jobs to be created, 74 jobs to be retained, $6 million in private investment

Lawrence -Hooke Laboratories

Hooke Laboratories is a new company, started by noted immunologist Suzana Marusic M.D., Ph.D. The company offers products and services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The company will build a research lab on South Union Street as soon as they receive local permits.

5 jobs to be created, $100,000 in private investment

North Andover -KDSA Consulting

KDSA Consulting-a technology support organization providing computer hardware, managed technology services and accounting software implementation and support services-has experienced 20-30% growth in its four year history. The company is expanding into space at Osgood Landing, 1600 Osgood Street.

5 jobs to be created, 25 jobs to be retained, $80,000 in private investment

North Andover -Ophir Optics

Ophir Optics, a manufacturer of precision lasers, has outgrown its current leased facility and will expand into a new space in Osgood Landing. The company will expand based on the strength of their orders related to military programs such as Thermal Weapons Sights and Driver Vision Enhancement.

70 jobs to be created, 70 jobs to be retained, $3,980,797 million in private investment

Pittsfield -Apex Resource Technologies

Apex Resource Technologies is a fully integrated manufacturer of plastic injection molded products in the medical industry. They will expand their existing operation to add 7,300 square feet for a clean room and raw material storage space.

7 jobs to be created, 61 jobs to be retained, $1,056,000 million in private investment

Pittsfield -SABIC Innovative Plastics

SABIC, the Saudi company that bought GE Plastics' global business earlier this year, is looking to expand at their existing site. Plans call for internal expansion of offices, infrastructure improvements and upgrading various mechanical systems. SABIC will also make significant investments in equipment.

25 jobs to be created, 300 jobs to be retained, $29.5 million in private investment

Pittsfield -Unistress/Petricca Industries

Unistress manufactures pre-stress concrete components for large structures, like the new Yankee Stadium. The company is building a new metal fabrication facility.

20 jobs to be created, 40 jobs to be retained, $3.6 million in private investment

Shirley-A&M Realty Trust

Dr. Arthur Eddy has been a dentist in Shirley since 1981 and is going to expand his current practice from 2,000 square feet to 4,900 square feet. Dr. Eddy owns his building (as A& M Realty Trust) and will invest over $450,000 in new equipment and technology, while adding lab space, operating spaces and handicap accessible facilities.

4 jobs to be created, 6 jobs to be retained, $1.3 million in private investment

Worcester -WCPA Inc. (Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts)

WCPA is renovating the former Poli Palace Theatre (built in 1926) into the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts. When complete, the 46,000 square foot building will be a 2,300 seat, state-of-the art performing arts center that will present large scale Broadway shows, world-class and family performances, and will host performances by Worcester's colleges and local arts organizations.

1 job to be created, 9 jobs to be retained, $30.4 million in private investment

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The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development is one of eight Secretariats that make up the Governor's Cabinet. Under the leadership of Secretary Dan O'Connell, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development oversees Business Development, Housing and Community Development, and Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

The Massachusetts Office of Business Development, part of the Department of Business Development, is committed to assisting companies who want to locate, expand, grow, or maintain a presence in Massachusetts. Through six regional offices and five industry specialists, MOBD works with companies and municipalities to help them take advantage of available economic incentive programs. MOBD also assists companies in navigating and accessing the technical, human, financial, training, educational and siting resources necessary to expand or locate in Massachusetts.