The Connecticut Airport Authority Thursday approved an East Granby business as the first to take advantage of the state’s newly created Bradley Development Zone.
The quasi-public state agency approved Nufern’s final application that allows it to qualify for tax incentives which are offered to companies that seek to expand and support economic growth around the airport, officials said.
Nufern, which designs and manufactures specialty optical fibers, fiber lasers and amplifiers, sells them globally and is expanding its facility from 65,000 to 95,000 square feet.
“The BADZ incentives helped Nufern gain corporate support for an expansion in Connecticut” Martin Seifert, president of Nufern, said in a released statement. “Working through the application was straightforward and transparent. We admire the CAA team for implementing the program so efficiently.”
Mary Ellen Jones, CAA chairwoman, said Nufern’s inaugural status as the first company to participate in the Bradley Development Zone a significant step forward for this important initiative.
“The CAA is so pleased to have been able to respond so quickly to the opportunities associated with the Bradley Development Zone to ensure that this job-growth programs moves forward,” Jones said in a statement.
The Bradley Airport Development Zone offers tax incentives to manufacturers and other specified businesses which develop or acquire property in the zone and create jobs. A business qualifies for tax incentives associated with the program if it acquires an idle facility or constructs, substantially renovates, or expands one and uses the facility for specified uses, officials said.
Eligible uses include manufacturing, research and development related to manufacturing and work to significantly service, overhaul or rebuild machinery and equipment for industrial uses. Incentives are offered to eligible businesses located in E. Granby, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Suffield.
Karen Jarmoc, who chairs the CAA board of directors’ outreach committee, said Nufern's expansion is expected to create 40-plus new jobs when completed.
Brad Monschein, an attorney with Pullman & Comley, told CAA board members that one concern raised by businesses is that they’re putting substantial amounts of money into expansion and if they do what they’re supposed to they will be eligible for the incentives.
The CAA worked cooperatively with the Bradley Development League, Metro Hartford Alliance and municipal leaders to develop policies and procedures for the development zone, officials said.
Dan Carstens, a marketing consultant for CAA, said a lot of businesses in the development zone are interested in applying for the program.
James M. Hayden, East Granby first selectman and chairman of the development league, applauded, Nufern and the CAA.
“East Granby is delighted that Nufern continues to invest in our town and in Connecticut by adding a 30,000 square foot addition to their current building,” Hayden said. “Nufern’s investment in its plant adds jobs, adds to the local tax base and adds to the growing number of high tech businesses in town.”
Jarmoc said one of CAA’s roles is to build development in and around Bradley.
Jarmoc said the board plans to approve plans and procedures that would allow for similar development zones to be created around the five general aviation airport it oversees. The Waterbury-Oxford Airport administration has expressed interest in creating such a zone, she added.
The board also approved a preliminary application from a Suffield company, Metal Finish & Supply Company. The business is expanding its facility from 10,200 square feet to 22,700 square feet.