North Adams-based builder of tiny houses seeks a bigger space for operations in Adams
ADAMS — Tiny houses sold here.
B+B Micro Manufacturing, a North Adams-based firm that builds tiny houses, is set to expand into the building now occupied by Brown Packaging at 201 Howland Ave. in Adams.
The Select Board on Wednesday unanimously approved a license necessary for the company to sell motor vehicles at the Adams location.
The auto sales permit will allow the company to use dealer plates for transporting their product, rather than having to register each unit with the state for individual license plates. The tiny houses, which are built on trailers, are considered recreational vehicles and thus require registration with the state's Registry of Motor Vehicles.
"This is a great space," said Jason Koperniak, one of three partners that own the company, which currently operates out of the Windsor Mill in North Adams. "We couldn't pass it up. It's not every day something like this becomes available."
Koperniak said the firm has been seeking an adequate space for expansion for some time.
He and his business partners, Mitch Bressett and Chris St. Cyr, told the Select Board that B+B employs 20 people. Since founding the business in 2015, the partners — all Adams natives — have built and sold roughly 165 units.
The Howland Avenue building is about 24,000 square feet, while their leased space at the Windsor Mill is about 13,000 square feet, Koperniak said.
B+B is also seeking a tax-abatement agreement with the town.
According to the proposed agreement, the building is assessed at $880,000.
Under the special tax assessment agreement, the town would exempt the business from property taxes on a declining scale through 2026. It would pay no taxes the first two years starting in 2020, and then would pay tax on 25 percent of the value the next two years, followed by 50 percent the following year and 75 percent the final two years. After seven years, the firm would pay taxes on the full property assessment.
According to the agreement, the firm must invest no less than $150,000 in the building by the end of this year and hire an additional 16 full-time employees by July 1, 2025.
Koperniak said the plan right now is to add eight workers in the first year, and two more each year for the following four years.
The Select Board endorsed the special tax-assessment agreement without opposition. The agreement will also need ratification at the annual town meeting and will need to be reviewed by the Mass. Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.
The sale of the building is under contract with B+B, with a closing set for the next few weeks.
Koperniak said the company hopes to be moved in and working by early July. The new space, he said, will allow for significantly enhanced efficiency and a potential to increase their sale volume.
"We could really use that extra capacity," he said.
While the manufacturing operation would move to the new space, Koperniak said the company would find a use for the space in the Windsor Mill, which is under lease for another year.
He suggested it could be a good place to manufacture trailers, which the company currently purchases from an independent manufacturer.
Scott Stafford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-629-4517.
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