Whitinsville, MA Rob Nahigian, FRICS, CRE, SIOR, MCR of Auburndale Realty Co., completed a corporate real estate transaction for Hoskin&Muir, d/b/a HMI-Cardinal of Louisville, KY and its subsidiary Woon-Tech of 369 Douglas Rd. in Whitinsville, Mass. It has resulted in one of the most impactful manufacturing relocation and long-term leases in central Mass. and the Worcester market. Woon-Tech will be leasing 120,000 s/f in total and relocating over 125 new manufacturing and warehouse jobs to 7-9 Latti Farm Rd. The facility is located in the Millbury Industrial Park comprising a total of 160,000 s/f. It was the former Boston Globe press and distribution operations. The vacant building, prior to the Boston Globe, was the former Worcester Telegram & Gazette facility. The location is key for distribution as its 2 miles from Rte. 140 and the Mass. Pike. The Boston Globe closed this facility in 2016 and sold it three years later to Tonuse, Inc., the current landlord. The plant was constructed approximately 22 years ago when The Globe owned the Worcester Telegram & Gazette which it sold in 2014.
Nahigian developed and implemented a strategic plan with Woon-Tech and HMI during the Summer of 2020 to relocate its workers and manufacturing for its global reach. WoonTech is a glass company that manufactures and customizes glass shower doors, glass table-tops, glass wall partitions, floorings, awnings, etc. The company takes large sheets of glass, then custom cuts the glass and polishes the glass for delivery. Its customer base is both residential and commercial. The company ships out over 1,000 pieces per day with over 750 customers. Woon-Tech’s partners are located on the east coast, Montreal and Europe. Its financial operations throughout the U.S. have exceled in the last five years and has outgrown its current location. The company is looking to add another 20 to 30 employees. It is currently located in Whitinsville, in a total of 40,000 s/f of space comprised of office/manufacturing/warehouse. Its main facility is 33,000 s/f. The president of Woon-Tech is Josh Foster who is now the National Vice-President of Operations for HMI-Cardinal. Foster spearheaded the site selection process working with Nahigian since last July, 2020. HMI-Cardinal is a privately held company with locations throughout the U.S.
The landlord is Tonuse, Inc. of Worcester, MA, an industrial investment company that owns properties throughout the Northeast. The property has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation for Woon-Tech that was completed August, 2021. It included an upgrade of the manufacturing facility, offices and warehouse area to a state-of-the-art condition.
Nahigian conducted a facilities evaluation and market search that included a geographic area from Western and Central MA to SE MA and Rhode Island. Springfield, Worcester, Rt. 495, SE MA and Central MA were the focus points studied. The study unveiled more than 45 sites, land and/or existing buildings with the minimum criteria of having 90,000 to 120,000 s/f with outdoor parking for over 120 cars and trucks. The property at 7-9 Latti Farm was available by the owner. The property includes over 38 acres of land with the building.
HMI also had a location in Woburn, MA at Cummings Park that it recently consolidated to Whitinsville, MA. Nahigian was engaged to negotiate an exit strategy with Cummings on its current lease. During the site selection process, Nahigian contacted MA Office of Business Development and MassEcon for guidance on possible sites, funding, financial incentives and loan packages for Woon-Tech.
The renovation construction was completed in August. Woon-Tech expects to occupy the space in the early Fall, 2021. Auburndale Realty Co. exclusively represented WoonTech.