Proud City Helps Boatyard Cut Ribbon on Indoor Facility

By Charis Anderson
NEW BEDFORD — Bayline Inc. Boatyard and Transport on Tuesday officially opened its new 27,000-sqare-foot, indoor facility, a multimillion-dollar expansion that will allow the company to store and repair vessels year-round in a temperature-controlled environment.
Owner Robert K. Gardner III gathered Tuesday with Mayor Scott W. Lang and other city officials at the new facility, located at 4 Silva St., for a celebratory ribbon cutting. “Bob is … a small business leader who is — job by job, expansion by expansion — an example of the kind of growth New Bedford is seeing,” said Matthew Morrissey, executive director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council.
NBEDC provided gap financing for the $2.5 million project, while Bridgewater Savings Bank was the primary lender. The new facility marks a significant expansion for the company, which has been in business since 1986. “We started here 13 years ago with a small parcel of land that we leased with just a couple of boats,” Gardner said. Today, the company has the capability to store about 300 boats, according to Lang, and offers its customers a range of services from storage to repair work to transport. In addition to creating indoor storage space, the new facility will allow the company to consolidate all of its maintenance and repair functions and its administrative offices under one roof, Gardner said.
Gardner said he started getting inquiries about indoor storage about four or five years ago from boat owners in Newport, R.I., the South and North Shore of Boston and Cape Cod and the Islands. “We knew there was a significant demand for that,” he said. In 2007, Gardner purchased the 2-acre property from the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority and started construction in 2009.
Gardner said he had not been concerned about taking on a major business expansion during the troubled economy of the past few years. “My business model and my approach was steadfast,” he said. “We’ve had very sustainable growth every one of the 13 years.” Kristin Decas, executive director of the Harbor Development Commission, said the improvements Gardner has made at the Silva Street facility dovetail nicely with efforts the city has undertaken on the waterfront. “We’ve been working very hard to bring on a lot of improvements to our waterfront,” she said. “Bob’s work is certainly a great partner with what we’re trying to do with our port.”
May 05, 2010 12:00 AM
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