Harvey proposing ‘world-class’ plant

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GORHAM — Neighbors of a huge plant to be built at the former horse racing track will hear about the project Thursday in a casual, public meeting with company representatives.

Precision toolmaker Harvey Performance Company of Rowley, Massachusetts, plans to build a facility off Narragansett Street covering nearly two acres on a portion of the vacant, 62-acre race track owned by Shawn Moody’s company.

“A world-class plant that Gorham can be proud of” is how Garth Ely, vice president of marketing for Harvey Performance, described the project this week.

Ely declined to disclose an estimated cost.

The public will hear some early details of the company’s plans at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, at Moody’s Collision Center, 200 Narragansett St., in Gorham. Ely said the meeting would be a “low-key event.”

He confirmed that plans call for a building with 76,000 square feet and 170 parking spaces. Ely said the building would be a single-story, 25 feet high.

“We have seen preliminary plans. In general, it looks like its good to go,” Gorham Zoning Administrator David Galbraith said this week.

Harvey owns the building that houses its Helical Solutions plant in Gorham Industrial Park and that business would be relocated to the new facility. There will be 80 to 100 employees on the job when the new building launches, Ely said.

“We’ve been experiencing some strong growth,” he said.

The company makes products for specialty needs and markets in the manufacturing and cutting tool industries.

The company’s headquarters, Ely said, would remain in Rowley, Massachusetts.

Ely said the company wanted to expand in Gorham to retain employees. It mapped employee commute times and found the new location would minimize the impact on employees, he said.

The company, Ely said, also wants to sustain its strong relationship with Gorham. “We’re really excited,” Ely said.

The project needs local and Maine Department of Environmental Protection approval. Galbraith said construction could begin in the spring. “This is the exact kind of business I want to keep in town,” he said.

The race track, located in the Narragansett Development District, is served by public water and sewer. Galbraith hopes that a natural gas line would be extended along Narragansett Street and added test borings are under way.

The former race track is situated just westerly of the roundabout that links Narragansett Street (Route 202) with the Bernard P. Riness Bypass.

Town government for years has hoped to attract businesses for the district, and  Galbraith called the Harvey project a catalyst for landing similar businesses.

The Town Council in October amended zoning rules in the district to allow for a variety of commercial and light industry along with residential units on floors above businesses. Buildings could be up to 50 feet high.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 780-9089 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com.