A new manufacturer will be bringing 56 jobs to Ansonia and filling tens of thousands of square feet at a vacant downtown industrial property, officials announced Thursday.
RugPadUSA, a Bridgeport-based carpet padding manufacturer, has plans to take up 173,000 square feet of the former Farrel Corp. buildings at 1 West Main St. and 35 Main St., city and company officials said.
The announcement of the company’s move was made at a press conference in its new location.
Karl Froelich, co-owner of RugPadUSA, said in a prepared statement that the space is “tailor made for our company.”
“We needed high ceilings and large clear span space to accommodate large pieces of equipment used in the manufacturing of rug pads,” Froelich said. “We also need easy access to Route 8 and the I-95 corridor.”
Ansonia Economic Development Director Sheila O’Malley said the company will initially move into about 60,000 square feet within a month.
The lease agreement — the building’s owner is Moustapha Diakhate’s Ansonia Developers LLC — includes an option for the company to eventually buy the property, officials said.
Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti said in a statement that RugPadUSA’s move shows the city is bucking the trend of manufacturing leaving the state and country.
He named two other companies — Better Packages, which moved from Shelton to Ansonia in 2014, and Farrel, which moved to a new location within the city last year — as evidence.
“We are recharging this city with new business growth and continued progress on the economic development front,” Cassetti said.
O’Malley said the move will increase the city’s grand list roughly $230,000 — $190,000 in added value to the buildings and about $37,000 for the company’s machinery.
That translates to about $8,500 in new tax revenue to the city.
But city officials hope that figure increases if the company follows through on plans to bring on another 50 employees.
Currently RugPadUSA has has 56 employees, an office in Brooklyn, New York and four employees who work overseas, according to the statement from city officials.
O’Malley said she and company officials are in talks with the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development on possible incentives to help the company expand into its new space.
“We are assisting with a state program similar to the one Farrel took advantage of, the Manufacturers Assistance Agreement for machinery, equipment and or renovations,” O’Malley said. “These won’t go into effect until they actually purchase. Currently they have not taken advantage of any incentives, but expressed interest. They may do so when they expand their operations.”
Officials said the reuse of old factories — there are dozens of acres of them downtown — is a priority because there is a premium on developable land in the city.
“We want to be able to reuse the space we have and create site pads where none currently exist,” O’Malley said in a statement. “It is our goal to help clean and prep space so that we can attract additional companies. This is exactly the kind of activity that we want happening in Ansonia.”