The Geiger company has announced that it is remaking its former manufacturing facility into a state-of-the-art management and distribution space. Including equipment, the firm will invest $12 million on the project, which, when completed, will occupy a total of 105,000 square feet. The expansion will provide enough work space to accommodate a planned 25 to 50 additional employees over the next three to five years.
Founded in 1878 in Newark, New Jersey, this five-generation family business relocated to Maine in 1955. Today, it employs roughly 700 across the country, 225 of whom work at its home base in Lewiston. Recognized four times by three groups over the last 18 months as a “Best Places to Work” employer, the firm could support its national sales force from any location in the U.S., but credits its growth and prosperity to its Associates Team, most of whom reside in metro-area Lewiston-Auburn. The company prides itself on “giving back” to the community from which it derives its strengths.
To the greatest extent possible, the company has committed to working with local partners on the project. Harriman of Auburn is the project architect and Hebert Construction will oversee the work. The firm’s primary computer system is moving to Oxford Networks, and a significant portion of project funding will come from Androscoggin Bank and Mechanics Bank, who will work with Key Bank. $6.2 million will be spent with local suppliers and sub-contractors, who will employ over 100 tradesmen and design professionals on the project.
True to its roots as publisher of “Farmers’ Almanac,” the firm is making a strong commitment to sustainability. Visible from the Maine Turnpike just south of Exit 80, the renewed facility will be LEED-certified at the Gold level and will qualify as a Maine Advanced Building. It will also make a major investment in clean, renewable solar energy. ReVision Energy of Portland will install one of the larger private solar arrays in the state, consisting of 620 ground-mounted panels, which will eliminate more than 8 million pounds of carbon pollution over its projected 40-year lifespan. The system will provide as much as 90% of the energy needs of the new offices.
Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald, Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council VP Stephanie Lewis, and LA Metro Chamber President Matt Leonard each offered comments to the elected officials, representatives of Congressman Poliquin and Senators Collins and King, the press, and employees who were in attendance for the announcement.