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Linen Company Expansion To Create 100 Jobs

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WAMC
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A Rhode Island-based commercial laundry company announced plans today to open a new plant in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Company and city officials said the expansion anticipates a growing regional hospitality industry led by the MGM Springfield casino.

Falvey Linen Supply, a fourth generation family owned business, plans to spend $7 million to purchase and renovate a former U.S. Postal Service warehouse and install new laundry equipment. Officials said 100 new jobs will result.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno joined Falvey officials outside the 240,000- square foot warehouse in an industrial park on the city’s eastside Monday and said the announcement shows the city is “open for business.”

Falvey has a plant in Cranston, Rhode Island, and distribution warehouses in the Boston-area and in Hartford.  The decision to build a second plant in Springfield is a major expansion for the 86-year-old company, according to Falvey President James O’Hara.

" It opens the New York market for us as well. There are many opportunities in this area," he said.

O’Hara said his company was attracted to the region in part because it believes the hospitality industry will grow as a result of the MGM Springfield casino that is expected to open in 2018.

"It was definitely a factor because MGM is going to be adding people to the area and that will mean more restaurants," he said.

The company is currently working out permitting issues with the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission.  The business uses a large amount of water and also must dispose of cooking grease that washes off chefs’ uniforms and aprons. 

O’Hara said the company will probably not start hiring for the Springfield plant for about a year.

" I imagine it will take us about 12 months to turn this warehouse into an industrial laundry," he said. "There is a lot of work that needs to be done."

The company is seeking tax breaks through the state’s Economic Development Incentive Program, which include a local property tax increment financing agreement, according to Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy.

" We would expect a normal TIF ( tax increment financing) that we would do for a company. They are bringing 100 new jobs to Springfield and that is a big deal," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said the tax incentives are still being negotiated. He said a proposal would be filed Wednesday with a city council subcommittee for review.  The full council would have to approve any tax break for the business.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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