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January 15. 2014 9:29PM

Caterpillar machines company eyes Londonderry location

LONDONDERRY — A regional company specializing in Caterpillar machines, power systems, parts and services is hoping to open its latest location in Londonderry sometime in the near future.

Last week, officials from Milton CAT appeared before the Londonderry Planning Board with conceptual plans for a new warehouse facility at 30 Industrial Drive, in the town’s Gateway Business district.

The facility would cater to area contractors, with plenty of space for equipment sales, rentals and servicing.

Milton CAT has two other facilities in the Granite State, with one in Warner and another in Hopkinton, as well as sites in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Maine and Rhode Island.

About 800 people are currently employed in the company’s 13 existing locations, company officials said.

Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg said the project has yet to go before a public hearing and that the Jan. 8 discussion was purely conceptual in nature.

Project officials plan to present a final proposal before the town sometime in the coming months.

Brad Farrin, corporate facilities manager for Milton CAT, said the three-generation, family-owned company, which was founded in Hopkinton in 1960, is New England’s authorized dealership for Caterpillar products.

The proposed Londonderry site is owned by Ballinger Properties.

Farrin said Milton CAT’s newest location in North Reading, Mass., opened about a year and a half ago.

“You talk about an equipment business coming in and people tend to envision rusty equipment lying near the road,” Farrin said. “But that’s not what we’re about at all. We bring a lot to the communities we serve.”

As of this week, company officials are still completing necessary surveys and environmental studies to ensure Londonderry is a mutually beneficial match.

Farrin said the size of the proposed Londonderry facility has yet to be determined, but warehousing, service and sales would be prominent features of the new location.

Rentals would play a smaller, yet important role in Londonderry operations, officials noted, with many businesses using a rent-to-own option.

“From a family standpoint, the quality of construction we typically bring to a community is high,” Farrin said. “We make an investment and strategically place where we want to be. And we’re excited about it.”

Project officials said the landowner would fund the new road needed to access the site, and the facility would generally operate early mornings through early evenings.

Londonderry Assistant Public Works Director John Trottier said the town has been working with company officials since early last month.

AGuilmet@newstote.com


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