Connor Homes begins rebirth on Pond Lane: Seeks purchase of Good Point building

MIDDLEBURY — Connor Homes founder Mike Connor said he’s putting the final touches on a financial package that would allow him to re-establish his home-construction business in the Good Point Recycling building in Middlebury’s industrial park.
He has already moved members of his administrative team into offices within the 50,000-square-foot facility, and he plans to buy the building in the next two months and potentially expand in the near future.
On Tuesday the building was getting some repairs in anticipation of a property transfer.
Good Point owner/CEO Robin Ingenthron said the potential deal would allow the nationally renowned recycling company to remain in one-third of the building for up to a year as it explores relocating to either a vacant building in Addison County or to a new structure that would be built in Middlebury’s industrial park.
“We are excited and hopeful,” Ingenthron said of the potential sale of the 227 Pond Lane. “We think Connor Homes is a great company, and this could be a win-win if the deal comes through. In the meantime, we had some space we are letting them use while they are working to close this deal.”
It was around four months ago that Connor Homes laid off its entire workforce of 63, citing financial reasons. An investment group led by local businessman Sam Pryor assumed ownership of the company’s assets, including its 116,000-square-foot headquarters at 1741 Route 7 South. Founded in 1992, the company designs and makes colonial reproduction “kit” homes.
Connor has been trying to resurrect the business, which he believes can again become a powerhouse if operated in a more “right-sized” location. He toured the Good Point facility earlier this year and was convinced it was just right for his company, to be renamed Connor Mill-Built Homes. He recently drew up a purchase and sales agreement with Ingenthron.
“This will be a much better layout for us,” Connor said of the Good Point location, which includes a combination of offices and wide-open work/storage space. It sits on 6.5 acres, thus providing ample area in which to expand in the future.
And Connor is already thinking about expansion — sooner rather than later. He said his new business plan includes working with developers to design and produce colonial reproduction homes. Connor said he recently signed agreements to provide homes for three separate developments: two in New York state and one in Connecticut. He said he’s in negotiations with some other developers for similar ventures.
Connor is counting on these deals to infuse more capital into the re-boot of his company. Connor on Tuesday said he had secured financing for the Good Point building and is now recruiting investors for resources to begin operations. He said he expects to have clinched those resources within a week or two, which he believes would allow the company to begin producing homes within around three weeks. Those initial homes would be made at the former Connor Homes headquarters on Route 7 South, through a short-term lease arrangement with Pryor, according to Connor. He is also hoping to purchase some of his company’s old equipment from Pryor and move it to the Pond Lane building.
A Tuesday afternoon email soliciting comment from Pryor had not drawn a response as the Independent went to press on Wednesday. The 1741 Route 7 property was still listed this week as being “for lease or sale,” through Nedde Real Estate, for an asking price of $3 million. The property includes 19.2 acres of land and two divisible building lots.
The Route 7 property proved too much space for Connor Homes, Mike Connor said, though he believes the building will provide an excellent spot with great visibility for a future company. He said the smaller Good Point building would allow Connor Mill-Built Homes to quickly employ an initial workforce of around 30 that could quickly grow to 70, given the advance orders for homes Connor has reported receiving.
Connor has reached out to many of his former workers and said around 20 have agreed to rejoin him. He noted several others have gone off on their own to form a new business called “Addison Residential,” offering design, management, consulting and millwork. Connor said he hopes to collaborate with the new outfit sometime down the line.
“I can’t blame them,” Connor said of his former employees’ decision to form a new company. “If you get a chance to have a place to work, you’ve got to go back to work.”
Finding enough workers is becoming a problem for Ingenthron, as Good Point is going through a nice period of prosperity thanks to its recycling prowess. Among other things, Good Point has established itself as a national leader in the recycling of flat screens TVs, the components of which can fetch a premium through resale on eBay or contracts with manufacturers.
The company is about to sign a lease for industrial space in Brockton, Mass. The company wants to maintain its headquarters in the Middlebury area, and is thus looking for a new local spot if/when its deal with Connor Homes is finalized. Good Point now has 30 employees, a number Ingenthron wants to double between his Middlebury and Brockton locations by year’s end.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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