Machine tool plant being revitalized

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SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (AP) – An unused 376,000-thousand-square-foot machine tool plant is getting a $5 million makeover and three businesses are getting ready to move in.

Renovations on the building that once housed the Fellows Corp. began last week, said Adam Winstanley of Winstanley Enterprises LLC of Concord, Mass.

“Right now, we have three leases that are out and in negotiation and we expect news in a couple of weeks,” Winstanley said.

He wouldn’t identify the companies that will move into the building, but said the largest would employ 150 people, another 40 people and the third 20. One company will lease 150,000 square feet of the building.

Two of the companies already have operations in the region while the other would be new, he said.

“This breaks that log jam of ‘water-water-everywhere, and not a drop to drink,”‘ said Robert Flint, of the Springfield Regional Development Corp. He was talking about the lack of modern industrial space in the region.

“Not only do we save the Fellows building and keep it industrial, but we have a top-notch, first-class development company doing it right,” said Flint.

John Hall of American Eagle Property Management, hired to manage the property, said 20 people were at work on the building.

“We’re doing a fair amount of demolition work, we will be bringing the office up to 2006 office decor,” he said. “We’re on a pretty aggressive schedule and looking to have tenants move in sometime in June.”

The machine tool industry in Springfield once employed 4,000 people. Now there are fewer than 100.

The Fellows building, constructed in 1967, closed as a machine tool manufacturing plant in 2002.

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