Farmers’ Almanac publisher Geiger is investing $12 million to convert its former manufacturing space in Lewiston into offices powered by a vast solar array, the company said Wednesday.

When completed, the 105,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate up to 275 employees, including an anticipated 25 to 50 new hires over the next three to five years. Half the facility will be used as a distribution center, and the other half will be company offices.

“We could be based anywhere in the U.S., but we have been a proud citizen of (Lewiston-Auburn), trying our best to make this a better place for over 61 years,” Geiger CEO Gene Geiger said in a written statement.

Founded in 1878 in Newark, New Jersey, the fifth-generation family business has roughly 700 employees and contract salespeople across the United States. Geiger relocated its headquarters to Maine in 1955 and currently employs 225 workers in Lewiston. The company celebrated its publication of the famous almanac’s 200th issue this year.

The company, which sells promotional products in addition to the almanac, ceased manufacturing its own products such as calendars and planners at the Lewiston facility in 2013. Geiger said company leaders are proud that the renovation will add value to the Lewiston area while employing local workers and increasing the area’s tax revenue.

“Just as we did not ask for handouts when we moved here, we are not asking for any help from the taxpayers of (Lewiston-Auburn),” he said. “We know our tax bill will go up when our work is done, and we are happy to contribute in that way to our community.”


Geiger said the company will work with local partners to the greatest extent possible on the renovation project. Auburn-based architectural firm Harriman is the project’s architect, and Lewiston-based Hebert Construction is the lead contractor, Geiger said.

The facility’s interior renovations are scheduled to be completed by late winter, and the exterior renovation will be completed by next summer, he said.

A significant part of the project’s cost is being financed by Androscoggin Bank in Lewiston and Mechanics Savings Bank in Auburn, which will work with the company’s longtime lead financial services provider, Cleveland-based KeyBank, Geiger said.

About $6.2 million will be spent with local suppliers and subcontractors, which will employ more than 100 tradesmen and design professionals to complete the project, Geiger said.

True to its Farmers’ Almanac roots, the firm is making a strong commitment to sustainability, he said. The renovated facility will be certified at the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design “gold” level by the U.S. Green Building Council and will qualify as a Maine Advanced Building by Efficiency Maine, Geiger said.

The company plans to make a major investment in clean, renewable solar energy, he said. ReVision Energy of Portland will install one of the larger private solar arrays in the state – 620 ground-mounted panels that will eliminate more than 8 million pounds of carbon pollution over the 40-year lifespan of the solar array, Geiger said.

“While we don’t know yet for sure, we think the system might provide as much as 90 percent of the energy needs of our new offices,” he said.

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