SOUTHINGTON — A Brooklyn lighting company is ready to close on a Water Street mill building that will be the company’s new home after renovations.
Juniper Design Group president Shant Madjarian said his company is only waiting on a government loan that’s been delayed by the federal shutdown.
“We’re very close,” he said Tuesday. “They can’t process that final stage and set a closing date until the government reopens.”
Crews are ready to begin work on the American Standard Company building and Madjarian is excited about designs for it. The main entrance will be moved to Water Street and the building will be repainted. He’s also planned new landscaping.
“The whole front of the building will change,” Madjarian said.
Assembly, machining and finishing will take place on the first floor. A showroom and offices are planned for the second floor.
The building’s aesthetic — exposed beams, tongue-and-groove ceilings and other features — will remain.
“We wanted an older building; we wanted something that had some charm to it,” Madjarian said.
Renovating an old building is expensive, but the company’s location is a critical part of Juniper’s brand and marketing.
“We’re opening this place up to the world to show how we do things,” Madjarian said.
Juniper's interest in the 20,000-square-foot building prompted the creation of a tax abatement that applies to two buildings on Water Street and two other mill-style buildings in town.
Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo said the program waives taxes on building improvements for five years.
Perillo said the town was able to fast-track Juniper’s application but couldn’t anticipate everything.
“Who would have thought the federal shutdown would hold up something like this?” he said.
Madjarian plans to bring New York clients to the Southington building once completed. Perillo said he hopes to attract other companies looking for unique buildings to Southington.
The tax abatement program that Juniper hopes to use is also applicable to an identical mill building adjacent to the lighting company’s. Perillo said he hasn’t gotten any interest yet, but is hopeful.
Madjarian expects to open in the late summer.