One of the state’s leading over-the-road transportation companies recently broke ground on a $6.5 million state-of-the-art terminal facility in Auburn. Located in Kitty Hawk Business Park, the project will also include public roadway construction of a First Flight Drive extension near Exit 75 of the Maine Turnpike.
Hartt Transportation’s new $5.3 million terminal will consist of a 30,000-square-foot office and maintenance facility with an automated public commercial truck wash. The company is also committed to funding $1.2 million in new road construction.
Hartt will sell off the four adjacent lots with visual exposure to Interstate 95, creating a transportation-related cluster development that could include office, transportation or light manufacturing uses. The park will offer a high-speed fiber optic network, underground utilities, and tastefully lit streets.
“Our new investment in Auburn will enable us to better serve our customer base at a location with direct access to the highway, while also creating jobs and new business opportunities for the Lewiston-Auburn area and beyond,” said company president Billy Hartt.
“While the initial project is in the range of $6.5 million, we believe additional development can happen rather quickly, especially with the road improvements we’re providing, to create a vertically integrated park of transportation-related entities in central Maine,” added company CFO Joanna Bradeen.
The sale of the four new lots created by the project will be brokered by the Baldacci Real Estate Group. Located within the Pine Tree Development and Foreign Trade Zones, the lots are pre-approved and zoned so businesses can begin construction within a short period of submitting an application.
In business since 1948, Hartt began its Auburn operation in February 2001, running 25 trucks out of a single office under a contract with Formed Fiber Technologies. Since then, the company has grown its Auburn operation at its facility on Hotel Road to include 200 trucks and 300 employees.
“It made sense for us to build on our investment in this community at this site,” said Bradeen. “Auburn has been our choice all along, but without help from the City, we could not have made this happen.”
The Auburn City Council has agreed in principle to a 20-year, $1.2 million tax-increment financing package to help move ahead with the highest quality of infrastructure improvements. Machias Savings Bank is providing the primary financing for the project.
“We are excited by the energy this will add to the Kittyhawk Industrial Park and the Exit 75 area,” said Auburn City Manager Clinton Deschene. “It takes many partners to build momentum to move the City and local economy forward to make our community strong. Partners like Hartt make these opportunities possible.”
Hebert Construction, a Lewiston-based, family-owned and -operated construction company in business since 1943, is the general contractor for the project, and Gendron & Gendron will construct the extension and improvements to First Flight Drive.