AUBURN — Hartt Transportation’s expansion means lots of good things for the Twin Cities, according to city Economic Development Director Roland Miller.

Company and city officials were on hand Thursday morning to break ground on the Bangor-based company’s $6.5 million business park investment.

But Miller said the expansion, a $5.3 million facility with office space, a maintenance facility and an automated commercial truck wash in the park, also means new room for new business.

The project includes $1.2 million in new roads in the Kitty Hawk Business Park, including work extending utilities, high speed fiber-optic Internet service and the paved portion of First Flight Drive.

That work is set to begin next week and the company hopes to move into its new 30,000-square foot facility next spring, adding 25 to 50 new hires per year.

The project will open up seven more developable industrial lots in the Kitty Hawk area, Miller said.

“These lots, when Hartt has completed, all of these will be shovel-ready,” Miller said. “They will be absolutely ready for occupancy; all amenities will be in place and all services will be here.”

The development is on the southern side of Kittyhawk Avenue, northeast of the Maine Turnpike.

The project is an expansion of the company’s presence in Auburn. Hartt began operating trucks out of Formed Fiber Technologies in 2001 with 25 trucks. The Auburn operation now boasts 200 trucks and more than 300 employees.

Miller said the company will vacate its current facility on Hotel Road, which means that space will be available. He’s already been contacted by companies hoping to expand into Auburn.

It’s a new opportunity for Auburn, which has plenty of raw land and easy access to the turnpike and rail corridors, but has had little to show potential investors ready to move to Auburn.

“But one of the challenges we’ve had is we have not had a good inventory of open spaces, ready to develop,” Miller said. “We’ve done spec buildings but they’ve sold before they were complete. But this makes it easier for the next entrepreneur to come in and take advantage of what we have.”

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