Pepin Associations scaling back; EDC looking for an incubator building tenant

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    GREENVILLE — Pepin Associates, an award-winning research and development firm, will be scaling back its operation in the Greenville Industrial Park at the end of June but not closing, according to company founder John Pepin.

    “We’re moving all our equipment into the original, smaller building where we started,” Pepin said. “We’re keeping all our machinery. In fact, we’re going to be pretty busy over the next couple of months. Then I might take some time off this summer.”
    Pepin notified the Greenville Economic Development Committee of his plans earlier this year, so they’re now looking for tenants to lease the 11,200 square-foot incubator building.
    Town Manager Gary Lamb said that his office had some inquiries about using the building for storage, but said that wasn’t a viable option. “We need a business out there that creates jobs,” Lamb said. “That was the whole purpose of the building.”
    Committee member Steve Levesque said that George Gervais, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic Development, has seen the building “and he likes it. Around the state, there is very little empty, usable space for businesses.”
    Lamb has designed a brochure for the building and is advertising its availability on the town’s website.
    The structure was built in 2004 and includes a loading dock, receiving area, three-phase power and warehouse space. But for now, it’s more than Pepin needs.
    “We had a long-term contract for some of our products and it’s completed now,” Pepin said. “We’ve slowed down partly because of the federal sequestration since one of the products we’re still working on is targeted for aerospace applications. So we’re waiting to see how things work out.”
    Pepin Associates designs and fabricates materials and structures for composite airframe components, armor, turbine fragment containment and biomaterials.
    But in recent years, Pepin said he has been working with an auto manufacturer that’s interested in using thermoplastic material in their frames. “The advantage is that you can form complex shapes with it,” he said.
    Pepin also said that if business picks up again, he’ll add a 75-foot addition onto the 2,500 square-foot building. “There’s plenty of room on the lot,” he added.
    And while it’s nearly impossible to predict when the sequestration will end or the national economy will recover, Pepin said that he’s willing to stick it out.
    “We’re an R&D (research and development) company. You only go out of business if you give up,” Pepin said.

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