NEW BEDFORD — Plumbers’ Supply’s footprint in the city is growing.
Motorists entering New Bedford from the north at night undoubtedly spot the neon glare of water spouting out of the faucet on the front of the Plumbers’ Supply store.
Further south on Water Street, the 19th Century version of Plumbers’ Supply is now apartments. In the North End, its warehouse is located on Church Street.
By the end of next summer a new 175,000 square foot building will be completed in the Far North End Business Park.
Mayor Jon Mitchell toured the construction site on Wednesday.
“For us, we have a lot of great employees and we didn’t want to stray too far,” co-owner Brian Jones said. “So when this opportunity came along, it’s a five minute commute. We don’t expect to lose an employee, that certainly appealed to us.”
In fact, the move and expansion should lead to the creation of at least seven jobs, Jones said.
“Our hope is we blow past that,” Jones said.
Plumbers’ Supply’s current warehouse measures 85,000 square feet with ceilings 16 feet high. The new warehouse will encompass about 155,000 square feet with about 30-foot ceilings. The remaining 20,000 square feet will be used for its corporate headquarters, which is already located in New Bedford.
“We want make use of every square inch of this park,” Mitchell said. ”… All this effort is about keeping and growing jobs but also fully utilizing what we have. New Bedford is fairly land constrained.”
Every parcel in the business park is either built on, under construction or under agreement, Mitchell said. The Plumbers’ Supply plot is the largest in the industrial park at 45 acres. Currently, the $18 million project is the third largest facility in the park. However, the company could potentially expand the warehouse to 300,000 square feet, which would be by far the largest, Derek Santos, executive director of the Economic Development Council, said.
“This gives us more than enough than we need in the near term,” Jones said.
Jones’ uncle, Jay, took ownership of the company in April 1977. More than 40 years later, Jay’s brother, his son, and three nephews are a part of Plumbers’ Supply. Development for the move to the far North End began in September of 2017. Ground broke earlier this summer.
“The city has been great to us,” Brian Jones said. “It’s three generations strong.”
Follow Michael Bonner on Twitter @MikeBBonnerSCT