UPDATE -- NEWS CENTER was contacted by Brunswick Town Manager John Eldridge on Friday afternoon via email. It was in regards to the renovation cost and the taxes generated for the online retailer Wayfair. He stated in that email: "...I based my property tax estimate on the reported $5 million renovation cost. In following up this morning, I learned that the reported renovation cost was incorrect. The developer told me this morning that $5 million is the total investment; it includes the cost of the purchase and renovations. Based on that information, the taxes generated would more likely be in the $75,000 to $100,000 range. The property taxes will go into a tax increment financing (tif) development fund that can be used for additional improvements at Brunswick Landing as well as other economic development and related activities..."
BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Online home furnishings retailer Wayfair plans to bring nearly 1,000 full-time jobs to the state by opening customer service and sales operations in Bangor and Brunswick, the company announced on Thursday.
The Wayfair operation in Bangor will occupy a space currently used as a call center by L.L. Bean.
The company confirmed it plans to add 450 full time jobs when it moves into that building. Bangor City Counselors said this is big for the area.
"450 new jobs coming to Bangor is very exciting, I don't care, that's 450 new jobs is big...to find a full time year round job with benefits those are a little harder to come by so it really offers good employment for people" said Bangor City Councilor Joe Perry.
"I think there's multiple benefits, to business in Bangor, that it's always good when we can attract new business because that helps, helps our existing businesses, brings more people into Bangor, more commerce you know so I think it's all positive, so that's the type of thing we've been working on as a city council" said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.
The city still has to approve Wayfair's lease but both councilors said they believe that won't be an issue.
Wayfair also released a statement about its expansion to Bangor. It reads in part:
"...We look forward to building our team in the City of Bangor and know that the community offers a strong talent pool for expanding our world-class customer service operations..."
Jane Carpenter, head of public relations for Wayfair, said the company worked closely with Bangor officials & L.L. Bean to finalize the agreement to move into the building.
The L.L. Bean call center will close in March, although it was originally scheduled to close in May. L.L Bean moved up the closing day to accommodate the city of Bangor and Wayfair.
Wayfair expects to take over the Bangor location by this August.
The new locations will add 450 jobs in Bangor, and more than 500 in Brunswick. Wayfair announced on Thursday that its new location at Brunswick Landing will have job openings for inside sales and service.
District 5 Brunswick Town Councilor Daniel Harris said the more commercial and industrial activity in Brunswick or in any town, the better it is.
John Eldridge, the Brunswick Town Manager said his estimate of new property tax revenue is in the range of $125,000 and $150,000 per year.
Eldridge said the property taxes generated will be deposited in a fund that can be used for additional improvements at Brunswick Landing as well as other economic development and related activities.
He also said the move is another great step forward in the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station.
"You know, town went through, the closure in 2011, and we all suffered through the recession in 2008 so having this kind of development on top of what else is taking place at Brunswick Landing is outstanding news for us, and the region" said Town Manager Eldridge.
Wayfair's statement on the announcement reads in part:
"...We are delighted to be a part of the redevelopment at Brunswick Landing... We are excited to work with the top notch talent in the Brunswick area to expand our operations."
On Monday, the Bangor City Council will take up consideration of a lease proposal with Wayfair to approve the agreement.
Wayfair is headquartered in Boston. Carpenter said Wayfair is one of the world's largest e-commerce retailers of home furnishings and decor. The online retailer offers more than seven million products from over 7,000 suppliers, according to the Wayfair website.