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Maine's STARC Systems to Build New $12.5M Complex This Year at Brunswick Landing

Wed April 10, 2024 - Northeast Edition #9

With a revenue growth rate of 30 percent per year for the last five years, STARC Systems is aiming to keep up the momentum by building an 85,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing and administrative facility at Brunswick Landing in Maine.

STARC makes temporary reusable wall systems for construction containment and are designed to be reusable on hundreds of jobs over many years.

Starting in 2015 at TechPlace, Brunswick Landing's technology incubator, the company has grown to 100 employees since its formation.

Mainebiz noted April 4 that the company is approaching $40 million in revenue and expects to continue adding between 15-20 percent annually to its workforce in production, manufacturing management, sales, marketing and support areas.

Growth is propelled, in part, by strong demand from STARC's customer base, and the introduction of three new product platforms in the last five years.

"This expansion is not just about increasing our manufacturing capacity, it's also about creating opportunities for our team and contributing to the local economy," said Chris Vickers, STARC's president and CEO.

The 85,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing and administrative facility is being developed for STARC by Topsham-based Priority Real Estate Group. Altogether, Priority owns and leases about $60 million worth of property at Brunswick Landing.

STARC will be the anchor tenant in one of Priority's latest developments, an industrial park that offers 250,000 sq. ft. of space. The manufacturer's new building will have enough space to add another 50,000 sq. ft. in the future, said Jim Howard, Priority's president and CEO.

The facility will be on Admiral Fitch Drive in Priority Park, and, pending final approvals, the goal is to break ground at the site late this summer in time to have it completed by the fall of 2025, according to Mainebiz.

The construction is expected to cost approximately $12.5 million, financed with cash and a loan from Androscoggin Bank.

Priority engaged Canal 5 Studio in Portland to design the STARC facility, with Augusta-based contractor Lajoie Brothers Inc. in charge of its construction.

Continuing Growth Leads to New STARC Facility

For STARC, the expansion marks a significant milestone in the company's growth, supporting its mission to serve numerous U.S. and international construction markets, including healthcare, airports, life sciences, commercial offices and data centers.

The new facility at Brunswick Landing will allow for consolidation of manufacturing, inventory and administration, Vickers explained. Consolidation also is expected to provide an operational advantage.

Additionally, the expanded space will support product line extensions and provide the capacity needed to meet demand.

He said the new development also will provide a more efficient workspace in the handling of added inventory and equipment, such as computer numerical control cutting and bending machines.

Maker's Products Are Easy-to-Assemble, Reusable

STARC Systems was founded in 2012 by Tim Hebert, a co-owner of Hebert Construction in Lewiston.

In a past interview with Mainebiz, Hebert said the idea for a better wall containment system was rooted in the work his contracting firm did in hospitals and healthcare. He was concerned about the amount of dust and debris and the time spent on erecting temporary containment on sensitive or patient-occupied health care renovation projects.

His concept was a modular, reusable temporary containment system that was quick and quiet to install. The product is predominantly purchased by contractors for jobs they are working on.

"The panel system is delivered to the project site, and they assemble it," Vickers noted.

STARC prototyped and tested its initial product, RealWall, in 2014; the first significant sale was to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

In 2020, as health care providers scrambled to manage skyrocketing caseloads, STARC's walls were adopted by health systems that used the products to create airborne infection isolation rooms, anterooms and containment areas.

By 2021, the company's customer base had grown to include not only the healthcare industry but also airports, data centers, universities and commercial office settings. Another product, called FireblockWall, is a modular, reusable one-hour fire-rated temporary containment system.

The company calculates its products have prevented 90,546 tons of single-use drywall from going to landfills, Mainebiz reported.

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