Though foodservice marketer and distributor Sysco won't be moving into the abandoned General Motors building on 45 Commerce Way, Norton, the facility may not be empty for much longer.
Alcohol distributor Horizons Beverage, which was founded in 1933 by Morris Sims in Brockton, is looking to expand and utilize the property. It would move from its Avon location, which is more than 300,000 square feet.
Sims was later joined in the business by his two sons-in-law, Harold Rubenstein and Arthur Epstein. Today, the company is run by Michael Epstein, who was at the last Selectmen's Meeting Thursday, Nov. 18, and three other fourth generation family members.
"I'm impressed with the [company's] longevity," said selectmen clerk Bradford Bramwell,
Epstein also noted that the company will pump money into local economy when it looks for landscapers, caterers and more.
"Avon's loss is our gain," said selectmen chairnan Robert Kimball "We can fill an empty building we were once very proud of."
The GM building is 394,179 square feet. If Horizon Beverage moves in, it will put on an additional 100,000 square feet with the possibility of another expansion in the future.
The project investment is estimated at $35 million including $20 million for the facility itself, $5 million for the 100,000 square foot expansion and $10 million for new machinery and equipment.
To make up for the some of the costs, Horizons Beverage submitted a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement. Though the expansion will bring a higher value, Horizon will only pay a fraction of those taxes. However, they will pay taxes on the property's current tax assessment. Each year, the company will pay more until the TIF expires.
The next step is for Horizon to negotiate with the Norton TIF committee. It would then have to go to Town Meeting for a vote.
The company expects this facility to retain 330 full-time job and create 20 new permanent full-time jobs.
State Rep. Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield, was also at the selectmen's meeting Thursday.
"Pardon the pun, but there are more things on the horizon to come to Norton," said Ed Tartufo, vice president of economic development for the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce.