By Dyke Hendrickson
A Gloucester company is seeking to expand through developing a wholesale lumber business at 23 Low St. in Newburyport, a site currently owned and occupied by Overland Marine Inc.
Timberline Enterprises LLC has approached the Newburyport Planning Board with an application for "major site plan review" for the property in preparation for "redevelopment of the property."
Timberline is scheduled to appear before the Newburyport Conservation Commission on Tuesday, and the next night, its representatives will go before the Planning Board to seek the needed local approvals.
Chris Costello, owner and president of Timberline, which is and will remain headquartered at 4 Pond Road in Gloucester, said Thursday that the expansion is designed to give the company better access to serve both current and potential future customers in northern New England, adding that the new facility will not, in any way, affect its Gloucester business,
"Obviously, we're a local business, but we have a pretty big reach," Costello said. "We delivered this week to Berwick, Maine, Kittery (Maine), we're in Boston every day, Chelmsford ...
"So although we very much consider ourselves a Gloucester company, and we take a lot of pride in that, we do service a large area," Costello said, noting that the Newburyport site would give Timberline easier access via I-95. "The other good news is that the company has grown so much in the past four years that it's become a square footage issue, and we don't have enough of it here. So when we looked at plans for expansion, and to see where we want to see ourselves growing, Newburyport is a great city for us.
"It's comparable to Gloucester, has a similar market, and from a market perspective, Newburyport doesn't have its own lumber yard," he added. "So this is a great market opportunity."
Costello said the company expects to spend roughly $1 million in developing its second facility, which should add 30 to 40 jobs to Newburyport's economy.
"It's a great win for Newburyport," he said, "They're going to get 30-40 jobs, a great boost in their tax base — and Gloucester doesn't lose anything, either."
The area Timberline wants to develop covers about 4.2 acres in an area subject to Newburyport's the Wetlands Protection Act.
According to Timberline's application to the Planning Board, the company "will operate a wholesale lumber business there, accompanied by incidental retail."
The land is presently used for marine storage, service and repair.
The new buildings, according to the application, will include two drive-through storage buildings, one three-sided materials storage building and one three-sided storage building.
Dyke Hendrickson can be reached at email@example.com.