RE/CON Briefs

A Pike steps down at Pike Industries

Effective Jan. 1, Randolph K. Pike, current president and CEO of Belmont-based Pike Industries, will be stepping down from his post, to be succeeded by Christian Zimmerman, an 18-year employee of the firm.

Pike also is steeping down from his position as New England Division president of the Oldcastle Materials Group, however he will stay on as a non-executive chairman within the group and assist with acquisitions, leadership development and specified projects.

The position of president will be taken over by John J. Keating of Fitchburg, Mass. who has been with the group since 1994.

Since its establishment in 1872, Pike family members have led Pike Industries. In 1988, then-president Milo L. Pike sold the business to international public company CRH, based in Dublin, Ireland. The company is known in the United States as Oldcastle.

Subsequent to the sale, Milo Pike retired and Randy Pike has been president for the last 17 construction seasons.

Pike is the largest producer and installer of hot mix in New England. It has nearly tripled in size over the last 17 years through a series of 14 acquisitions, which included expansion into Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

$12m project backed in Laconia

The Laconia Planning Board has unanimously approved a $12 million plan to turn the former Scott & Williams factory 60 apartments and commercial space.

The project, proposed by the Laconia Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Brox Industries, of Dracut, Mass. – owner of the defunct knitting machine plant — calls for commercial space on the first floor of the building, with the three upper floors converted into affordable housing.

According to the Laconia Citizen, architect Rob Doyle told the planning board the renovation of the Scott & Williams building would begin with the demolition of the addition constructed on the Union Avenue side of the massive structure.

He said there would be 48 two-bedroom apartments, three three-bedroom dwellings and nine one-bedroom apartments in the renovated building. The majority of the apartments would be rented at 80 percent of the current market rate.

Ceremony opens C&S Keene HQ

C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open its new corporate headquarters in Keene.

The new offices provide workspace to over 350 corporate employees.

“We are off to a great start in our Keene headquarters,” said Chairman and CEO Rick Cohen at the ribbon-cutting.

Joining Keene Mayor Michael E. J. Blastos at the event were members of the Keene City Council and Planning Board, as well as state officials.

The company said it is planning additional ‘welcome’ events later this fall for neighbors of the facility and for employees and their families.

Ashland builder faces $30k fine

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed that an Ashland contractor pay a nearly $30,000 fine for allegedly failing to provide adequate protection for workers at a Woodstock job site.

George Kilens, OSHA’s acting New Hampshire director, alleged that M. E. LaTulippe Construction Inc. failed to supply cave-in protection in a trench being dug at the job site on Route 112 and was cited for “willful and serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act” with recommended fines totaling $29,650.

Kilens said OSHA inspectors visited the sewer installation project on June 5 after “receiving a report that an employee was working in an unprotected excavation.”

He said the inspection found an employee working in a trench 5.8 feet to 8.2 feet deep without a metal trench box or adequate side sloping to prevent cave-in, even though a trench box was available at the job site.

Brady-Sullivan buys Bedford building

Brady-Sullivan Properties of Manchester continues its buying spree with the acquisition of the former Surebridge office building in Bedford for $5.7 million.

Royal Troon LLC, which included three of the founders of that once occupied the building, sold the red brick structure, which had cost more than $10 million to construct. The building is about 86,000 square feet, with 300 parking spaces. The town assessed the building at more than $6.5 million.

The building is close to Route 101 and Interstate 293 as well as the proposed Manchester Airport access road.

Brady-Sullivan now owns nearly 2 million square feet of commercial space in the greater Manchester area, including the Jefferson Mill in Manchester’s Millyard and the former New Hampshire Tower on Elm Street in Manchester.

Three N.H. Kmarts are sold to Sears

Three Kmart stores in New Hampshire are among 50 stores across the country being sold to Sears for about $576 million.

Stores in Nashua, Londonderry and Keene, will all eventually become modified Sears stores, according to Corinne Gudovic, a Sears spokeswoman.

Sears will take possession of the stores in the spring, and most of the stores should be converted to Sears stores by the end of next year, according to Sears.

There are several other Kmart stores in New Hampshire, including one in Salem, Claremont and Rochester.

Kmart still has more than 1,420 stores across the country and has approximately $20 billion in revenues, according to Kmart officials.

The company closed 600 stores in 2002 and 2003. “The completion of this transaction moves Sears another step closer to its strategic goal of growing our store base and the Sears brand off-mall. We look forward to an increased presence in these key markets and serving new and existing customers,” Alan Lacy, Sears chairman and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement.

The new “mid-sized format” Sears will have all the traditional products and departments found in larger Sears stores, but there won’t be as many of each item, according to Sears officials. The stores will be one level, using an “open racetrack design” with check out at the front of the stores, according to Sears officials.

Lonza expansion OKd in Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Planning Board has approved a proposal to substantially expand Lonza Biologics Inc.’s headquarters at Pease International Tradeport.

The expansion could be up to 285,000 square feet and its current facility is 350,000 square feet.

It is anticipated the company would add about 125 jobs if the expansion is fully built out, which would increase employees to 575. The cost of the project is about $200 million. The company has invested about $500 million in the company over five years.

Home Builders offer RCS courses

For the first time the National Association of Home Builders Residential Construction Supervisor (RCS) designation courses are being offered by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of New Hampshire.

The RCS designation (formerly known as the Field Superintendent Designation Series) is an eight-course curriculum geared toward budding field superintendents as well as current on-site personnel wishing to enhance their supervisory skills. Developed by NAHB’s Home Builders Institute, the eight courses cover issues and subjects identified by members as critical to a field supervisory job.

The next series of classes for the designation will be held at the second annual Fall Educational Conference being held on Oct. 21-22 at Church Landing at Mills Falls Inns in Meredith. The courses being offered are: Safety and Security, Codes and Quality Control, Hiring, Training and Supervision, and Office and Subcontractor Relations.

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Masiello in joint venture with mortgage firm

ERA The Masiello Group and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage have agreed to the terms of a joint venture to originate, process and fund mortgage loans for customers purchasing homes in New Hampshire and Maine.

The joint venture, called Great East Mortgage LLC, is co-owned by the two companies, and will offer home buyers a comprehensive selection of financing products and services through Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, one of the nation’s leading providers of residential financing.

Masiello said the venture makes the firm the only area real estate group that supports customers with complete services throughout the real estate transaction.

Airport upgrades sought in Nashua

The Nashua Airport Authority is looking at plans that will cost nearly $10 million to bring the local airport into compliance with federal safety standards.

Royce Rankin, the airport manager, said the airport has become such a popular destination for a more modern class of jet aircraft that the Federal Aviation Administration is requiring an upgrade of its runway and taxiway infrastructure.

The work would largely be paid for with federal money, Rankin said.
At the same time, the airport is also beginning to update a 1994 environmental assessment to prepare for the possibility of constructing a second runway, though the authority has not decided to move ahead with that plan. A second runway at the airport, in the northwest corner of the city, faced neighborhood opposition in the past.

Huttig readies Hooksett facility

Huttig Building Products of St. Louis plans to open a new building supply warehouse and regional headquarters next spring in Hooksett.

The Hooksett warehouse would be its main supply depot in New Hampshire for the building products distributor.

About 75 people are expected to be employed at the new site, which is scheduled to open in April.

Two-acre minimum backed in Laconia

The Laconia Planning Board has formally recommended to the Laconia City Council changing city zoning regulations to would require a two-acre minimum lot size in the Rural Residential 1 zone.

The proposed changes are the result of comments during two previous public hearings on the city’s ongoing update of its master plan to protect Laconia’s dwindling rural character.

If the council approves the changes, the minimum lot size in the RR1, which covers about a third of the city’s’ total area, would be two acres with a minimum of 250 feet of frontage, regardless of whether municipal water or sewer service is available.

The RR1 zone currently calls for a two-acre minimum lot size, but the lot shrinks to one acre when one utility is present, and is cut in half again to 20,000 square feet if both are available.

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