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Chartpak buys Northampton building; expanding to third location in city

August 25, 2021 : Mass Live, by Jim Kinney

NORTHAMPTON — Chartpak, a 73-year-old graphic arts supply manufacturer for architects, graphic artists, engineers, and draftsmen, is expanding here with the help of a $1.8 million tax-exempt bond through MassDevelopment.

MassDevelopment announced Wednesday that it issued a $1.8 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Eric Properties which is an affiliate of Chartpak. Eric Properties used proceeds to buy an 82,058-square-foot manufacturing building at 120 River Road in the village of Leeds. Eric Properties will lease most of the building to Chartpak, according to MassDevelopment, and then lease the remainder to two unrelated manufacturing companies.

A deed on file with the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds said Eric Properties bought the building on 29 acres of land in May from Equinox Partners LLC for $2.2 million.

Country Bank of Ware is buying the bonds. MassDevelopment’s involvement helps to get Eric Properties and Chartpak a lower interest rate.

The warehouse was built in 1970. It’s close to Chartpak’s other location at 1 River Road. The other facility is at 24 River Road in the Florence section of Northampton.

MassDevelopment said the building will give Chartpak a third facility in Northampton. with additional manufacturing space needed to accommodate increased sales. Chartpak expects to create an additional 10 new jobs in the next three years. The company has about 111 employees now and is one of the larger manufacturers in Northampton, a city that faces the loss of its Coca-Cola bottling plant with 320 jobs in 2023.

Chartpak was founded in Connecticut in 1949 as a graphic arts supply manufacturer for architects, graphic artists, engineers, and draftsmen.

Chartpak moved to Northampton in the 1950s and grew a product line that included graphic tape, vinyl lettering, illustration markers, and other manual drafting tools and supplies.

Investor Steven Roth bought the company in 1993 and invested in machinery and employees.

Chartpak now manufactures products for the fine art, stationery, crafts and hobbies and fine writing.

“The MassDevelopment organization consists of an incredible group of people who are dedicated to helping businesses obtain the necessary low-cost financing in order to support its growth,” said Roth said in a news release. “They are a team of practical people that recognize the daily demands that business owners face while they are simultaneously expending efforts to obtain financing. They were sensitive to our timing constraints, educated us on the benefits of an Industrial Revenue Bond, explained the process and kept us informed on a timely basis. MassDevelopment complimented our relationship with our lending institution, Country Bank. Country Bank was extremely supportive and proactive in cooperating with MassDevelopment by executing the requested financing through the purchase of the related Industrial Revenue Bond.”

MassDevelopment is the state’s development finance agency and land bank. In fiscal 2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.

“Massachusetts has a strong manufacturing legacy, and the Baker-Polito Administration is committed to helping manufacturers of all kinds continue to thrive here,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as the chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “Low-cost financing from MassDevelopment allows these companies to expand their operations and provide high-quality jobs across the Commonwealth.”