by RC Williams
Once known for its booming modular and manufactured home industry, Oxford, Maine has been dubbed the “Manufactured Housing Capital of New England.”
Sadly, a downturn in May 2016, including the shutdown of Keiser Homes, cost at least 120 workers their jobs. The Daily Business News originally covered that story here.
But now, there’s new hope.
A Coastline Modular Home. Credit: Coastline Homes.
According to the Sun Journal, the area got a boost last week when two local businessmen presented plans that many hope will strengthen the job and housing market.
The preliminary site plan application for construction of a 70,088-square-foot building has been presented to the Oxford Planning Board for the soon to be named ABS Modulars facility.
“If approved, the new business may add as many as 80 new jobs to the area,” said Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman.
“Additional jobs may also be coming down the line, following approval of a site plan application for another new manufactured housing business in Oxford.”
The future site of ABS Modulars. Credit: Sun Journal.
The Planning Board also gave John Schiavi of Schiavi Custom Builders the green light to open a manufactured home sales center, Coastline Homes of Oxford.
Ten to 15 jobs are expected to be created once Coastline Homes is up and running. Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected to take place in the next few weeks.
Construction for ABS Modulars is expected to begin this spring with an estimated completion date one year from now.
Local builders say as much as 83 percent of business was lost during the housing bust of 2008. Further, modular builder Keiser Homes, a subsidiary of Innovative Building Solutions (IBS), closed its plant in Oxford when IBS filed for bankruptcy in May, 2016.
The Schiavi Homes team. Credit: Schiavi Homes.
“We’re very excited about the direction we’re going in. It’s part of the market that really suffered in the downturn,” said Scott Stone of Schiavi Custom Builders.
“We’ve decided to take advantage of the upturn in modular and manufacturing housing and open up a sales lot where ‘middle America’ can again afford to buy their first home. The middle class took the brunt,” said Stone of the housing bust in 2008. “That’s what’s coming back. We’re really happy.“
Coastline Homes is expected to be open in time for the 16th annual Oxford Hills Home Show in mid April.
The show draws potential homebuilders and buyers primarily from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and allows the manufactured housing industry to jointly promote its individual businesses and the industry as a whole. ##
(Image credits are as shown above.)
Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.com.
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