OAKLAND — F.W. Webb, a regional plumbing and heating supply company, has started construction of a large building off Kennedy Memorial Drive in Oakland.

The 35,000-square-foot building will be a distribution center and a retail showroom, said Nick Pelletier, manager of the company’s Augusta location.

“We’re excited about it,” Pelletier said. “We’ve got some great opportunities in the Waterville area.”

Oakland Town Manager Gary Bowman said on Thursday the new building was a positive step for the community.

“We’re excited to have them in the town of Oakland,” Bowman said. “It’s a reputable company. It certainly moves Oakland in the right direction.”

The building will help expand the company’s presence in the area from its smaller location in Winslow and will include a 4,000-square-foot showroom for its commercial products such as bathroom fittings and plumbing, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, Pelletier said. Its closest showrooms are in Lewiston and Bangor.

“We’re looking to expand our offering to customers,” he said. The Oakland site was picked because of available property its proximity to Interstate 95 exits, Pelletier added. The site is within sight of exit 127 of the highway.

The new building is on a plot just outside the publicly owned FirstPark business park, operated by the Kennebec Valley Development Authority. The park opened about 15 years ago, and most of its building lots are vacant.

Pelletier said the company didn’t intentionally buy property outside FirstPark.

“It’s not that we didn’t decide to purchase within FirstPark,” but the chosen lot was available and convenient, he said. “It wasn’t anything against FirstPark,” Pelletier said.

F.W. Webb closed on the property in June and steel frame construction of the building has started. The plan is to complete the structure by winter and open the new business in the spring, Pelletier said.

Most of the new building’s employees will be transferred from Winslow, but the company will have to hire several new workers to staff the showroom, Pelletier said.

The company doesn’t plan to close its Winslow site. Instead, it will split its industrial and commercial sales, keeping the industrial business in Winslow and expanding the commercial business in the Oakland location.

“As we grow, we hope to hire more on the trade side,” Pelletier said.

F.W. Webb, based in Bedford, Massachusetts, is a regional wholesaler that provides products for commercial, institutional, industrial and residential markets. The company has more than 75 locations in the Northeast, from Maine to Pennsylvania.

The company has 10 locations in Maine, including Winslow, Augusta, South Portland, Bangor, Lewiston and Biddeford.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

 

 

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