Complete Sheet Metal owner Jeff Michaud knew his business needed more space if it wanted to expand, but didn’t want to have to leave Berlin to do so. Currently leasing 3,600 square feet from the 100,000 square foot building at 500 Four Rod Road, Michaud found a way to not only keep his company in town, but he didn’t have to change his commute to do so.
Michaud bought 2.4 acres of land from his current landlords at Coon LLC., which owns the building CSM currently resides in, and broke ground for a new 11,000 square foot facility Monday that will be a couple of hundred feet away from the present location.
“We’re very excited to be in Berlin, the town has been great to work with” Michaud said. “We’re taking a calculated risk. We know our business model, we know the economy is eventually going to turn around and we’ll be prepared for it at the right time.”
Accompanied by his family, Berlin Mayor Mark Kaczynski and members of town department of Economic Development, Michaud and others took the ceremonial first scoops of dirt at the new construction site he hopes will be finished by the end of the year.
The timing of the groundbreaking might appear strange considering the global environment, but it was important to Michaud and the members of the town government to show not everything needs to come to a complete halt during the pandemic.
“We all want to make sure everyone is healthy and keep everyone healthy,” Kaczynksi said. “Without our [local] businesses, obviously all of us, we need jobs, we need to bring money into the economy so it’s great to keep many of our businesses open through this. It is certainly great to a new business that is continuing with their expansion. Once we get this new facility here it will be great for obviously the Michaud family and their company, and great for Berlin.”
One of the key design features of the new facility will be the pandemic-safe setup that includes partitions and individual work spaces to keep employees separated, all of which can be easily removed once it is no longer required to practice social distancing.
Michaud said the next step is to prepare the grounds to become a construction site, which he estimates will take three or four weeks. He said his outlook is positive as the business he stared in 2017 takes such a large step so early on in its existence.
“I’m very optimistic,” Michaud said. “Things happen over the years and the economy is cyclical, it comes up and it comes down. This is a little different situation, but we’re optimistic that in the next 24 months we’ll have turned the corner and the economy will be cranking a long again.”