Faria Beede, under new ownership, plans move out of Montville

Montville — The manufacturer Faria Beede will be leaving Montville for another town, pending the sale of its Pink Row property to a development firm that plans to repurpose the building for housing.

An Indiana businessman who owns several Midwestern manufacturing firms bought the company, which has been located in Montville for 50 years, in September, and said he has identified a new property within “near proximity” of the town.

The company’s new CEO, Fred Merritt, said he has met with local town and economic development officials and has found a property where he intends to move the company’s manufacturing operations.

Operations at the factory have continued while the sale is being negotiated. Merritt said he doesn't anticipate "any significant changes" in the company's staffing as the sale and move away from Pink Row are finalized.

The company, formerly known as Thomas G. Faria Corp., announced in August its plans to move out of its 117-year-old former mill complex.

The company produces speedometers and other gauges that measure things such as fuel, temperature or pressure in vehicles and boats, and systems that transmit engine data for military, commercial and industrial vehicles.

The company's former CEO said the nine-building complex had become inefficient and overcrowded, especially since Thomas G. Faria Corp. acquired Beede Instruments in 2013 and the company expanded.

Merritt said his company Pit Stop Holdings LLC bought Faria Beede in September. He is also the CEO of Riverside Manufacturing, a Fort Wayne, Ind., manufacturer he bought in 2002 that has acquired several other companies that make heavy-duty nameplates and various kinds of electronics in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.

Merritt did not identify the proposed new site for Faria Beede or say where it is except that it is nearby, and will be accessible to the company’s more than 200 employees.

Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel said Thursday that the company had considered buying land in Montville, and that another firm had offered to build it a new facility, but that the company has decided to focus its search in other towns.

“We made our best effort to try to accommodate their needs,” McDaniel said. “They decided to look elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, Faria Beede is moving forward on a sale of the mill complex to a Massachusetts development company, Dakota Partners. In September, Faria Beede successfully lobbied for a zoning change that would allow Dakota Partners to use the property for residential purposes.

“I think it’s a great use for that space down there,” McDaniel said. “It will replace an old mill, which is what everyone likes to see.”

According to its website, Dakota Partners already has completed several residential developments in Connecticut, including the multi-million-dollar conversion of two office buildings into apartments in Hartford.

McDaniel downplayed the financial impact to the town of Faria Beede leaving. He said the company did not pay taxes on its manufacturing equipment because of a state law exempting it. And once the sale to Dakota Partners is finalized, the responsibility of property taxes for the complex will be put on its new owner.

"Someone will be paying property tax regardless," McDaniel said.

The property’s appraised value is $1,342,690, and the property covers 86,649 square feet, according to town records.

“Faria was a great business here in town, for a very long time,” he added. “We’re sorry to see that go.”

m.shanahan@theday.com

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