Feb. 19–PLAINFIELD — A Pennsylvania-based truck building company is the latest firm to invest its expansion efforts in Plainfield.
The state Bond Commission on Friday approved a $4 million loan to Morgan Truck Body LLC, which builds dry freight and refrigerated truck bodies for companies throughout the country. The company plans to construct a $19 million manufacturing plant that is expected to create more than 100 new jobs, according to bond commission minutes.
The loan is structured with an interest rate of 3.25 percent for 10 years, with the principal deferred for five years. But if the company meets its goal of creating 120 jobs within three years, it will be eligible for loan forgiveness, commission members said.
Representatives from Morgan did not return calls for comment on the project on Monday. According to a 2016 press release from Morgan, the company planned to increase its manufacturing footprint into New England.
“A site search is underway to select a location capable of supporting the production of up to 3,000 truck bodies annually,” according to the statement.
Morgan produces a range of truck bodies for parcel delivery, furniture movers and heavy-equipment hauling, as well as bottled gas transport. In recent years, Morgan has began building dump- and service truck bodies geared towards the landscape and contractor industries.
First Selectwoman Cathy Tendrich said the planned project site is located at 85 and 90 Moosup Pond Road in the Wauregan section of town, property originally home to the American Standard Co. before serving as a Staples distribution center for nearly a decade.
“I spoke to people from Morgan when I took office and will be reaching out to them again soon for more details on their plans, including when they expect to start building,” she said.
According to December Planning and Zoning Commission minutes, WE 85 Moosup LLC, which paid $2.6 million for the property in January, was given approval to make site improvements to sections of the property for loading areas, access drives and on-site parking for “649 trucks or chassis.”
The building project was announced just more than a month after Western Express, a national trucking company, paid $1.75 million for 12 acres at 1293 Norwich Road. The sale included two parcels and a 30,740-square-foot building previously used by a local lumber company.
The Plainfield spot will become the ninth location for the Nashville-based company, which specializes in flat-bed transportation, freight management and logistics.
In November, a Massachusetts-based real estate firm purchased the long-vacant former dog-racing track property in town.
Winstanley Enterprises, a Concord, Massachusetts, investment and development company, paid $3.37 million to BVS Investors LLC for the 137-acre Lathrop Road parcel that once was home to a greyhound racing track. Winstanley is also listed in assessor records as co-owner of the future Morgan project site.
Winstanley plans to convert the site into a logistics park, accommodating over 800,000 square feet in one distribution facility, or a two-building campus with over 600,000 square feet. Company officials previously said they were in “active discussions with a number of large users” for the site.
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