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Good Point revises its building plan; Connor eyes growth; auction planned

MIDDLEBURY — Good Point Recycling has tabled plans to build a new headquarters in Middlebury’s industrial park and appears poised to grow its electronics recycling business in Massachusetts, as opposed to Addison County.
Meanwhile, Connor Mill Built Homes (CMBH) is starting to pick up steam as a tenant in the current Good Point building at 227 Pond Lane, a 50,000-square-foot facility that Connor founder and CEO Mike Connor hopes to purchase as soon as this fall.
As previously reported in the Addison Independent, Connor re-established his company — which designs and makes colonial reproduction “kit” homes — in Good Point’s Pond Lane building last May. The business had ceased operations as “Connor Homes” four months earlier, citing financial reasons. An investment group led by local businessman Sam Pryor assumed ownership of the company’s assets, including its former 116,000-square-foot headquarters at 1741 Route 7 south.
In an added twist, the 1741 Route 7 south property is scheduled to be sold at a foreclosure-related public auction on Tuesday, March 27, at 11 a.m.
Local business man Tony Neri on Tuesday confirmed his interest in the property, which has been on the market for more than a year.
Should he become the winning bidder, Neri said he’d divide 105,000 square feet of the structure into five or six independent spaces to lease to businesses wanting to lay down roots in Middlebury. He named Good Point as one of the businesses he could accommodate at the facility once it is repaired. According to Thomas Hirchak Company auction ad, the structure is equipped with 11 overhead doors, including nine truck-level loading docks and two grade-level docks.
Neri said he’d take the remaining 10,000 square feet in the front (Route 7) portion of the building and turn it into a food hub, where people could legally develop their products under the supervision of the Vermont Department of Health and the United States Department of Agriculture.
It would be Neri’s second major investment in a former Middlebury business site in less than a year. Last July, he acquired the former Greg’s Meat Market at 3 Elm St. from TD Bank.
Connor said he has no interest in his former place of business on Route 7. He’s happily making a go of it at the Good Point property.
“Our investors here are interested in purchasing this building; in fact, they’re trying to put together a program to do that by this fall,” Connor said. “I think this is a much better location for us, and better sized.”
Now roughly 10 months into its makeover, Connor Homes has a workforce of 26.
“We’re busy,” Connor said. “We’re still in start-up mode in many regards. We’re getting there.”
Connor Mill Built Homes has of late been supplying homes to a development in Maine. Demand for the company’s products has been steady and Connor believes the construction industry is surging right now.
“There are a lot of good things going on,” he said. “The whole residential building economy is very red-hot. It sounds like a good thing, but there are down sides to that as well. We see increases in material costs, increases in labor and general contractor costs you have to deal with. It’s more of the typical cycle we’ve seen for the last 50 years, where a red-hot economy generally results in a downturn in a year or two.
“I see some good signs it’s going to be a good two years before we see a bit of a downturn,” he added. “None of us in this industry pretend that we can predict anything anymore.”
Ingenthron is pleased Connor is still committed to buying his Pond Lane building. He said the five-year lease provides financial incentives for CMBH to purchase the building during the first two years.
Business is going well for Good Point, spurred in large part by its expert recycling of flat screen TVs. Good Point has become a national go-to repository for flat screen TV parts, which its employees dutifully extract from the discarded televisions. The company has exclusive contracts with Vermont and several large communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, to take the TVs and extract useful components that are then sold primarily to television repair people.
Ingenthron had hoped to sell his Pond Lane building to Connor last summer. He said he would have used that money to pay for a new, smaller building for Good Point in the Middlebury industrial park. For now, he’s content to remain in a portion of the Pond Lane facility, but hasn’t closed the door on other options — such as becoming a potential Neri tenant on Route 7, if that deal pans out.
Current plans call for Good Point to ramp up its workforce to 75 people. Ingenthron had hoped to base 50 of those workers in Middlebury and 25 in Brockton, Mass. Since Good Point’s Middlebury location is still in flux, and due to what Ingenthron called “some uncertainty surrounding Vermont’s recycling procedures for flat screen TVs,” it looks like the company will instead move to 50 workers in Brockton and 25 in Middlebury.
He doesn’t plan to leave Middlebury.
“As long as we have the Vermont contract, we’ll definitely have a home here,” Ingenthron said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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