Owners cite location, amenities, affordability and landlord relationship

PEPPERELL, MASS. – Massachusetts-based online auto parts retailer 1A Auto announced a new state-of-the-art research and development facility in the company’s hometown of Pepperell, MA.

“We’re proud to be back in Pepperell where it all began,” said CEO Rick Green. “This R&D facility will supercharge our mission to empower our customers to perform their own auto repairs.”

1A Auto (www.1aauto.com) has signed a lease for 17,000 square feet at Pepperell Place Business Center, and will bring 20 jobs to town. 1A is one of the country’s largest online sellers of auto parts, employing over 450 around the country, including in Pepperell, Littleton and Westford.

Green says, “We loved being at Pepperell Place (20 Mill St.) where my brother Rick and I launched the business in 1999,” “During a growth period, we consolidated at our Westford headquarters, but our dramatic success and need for unique space has brought us back. The buildout will accommodate a state-of-the-art Research and Development division. He pointed to other amenities that are hard to find under one roof: common conference room, break room, fitness room, and loading docks. renovated bathrooms and shower facilities, a new roof, and upgraded systems.

Starting in 2016 Eric Shapiro, President of The Lexvest Group, LLC,and his team invested a sizeable sum and much creativity, transforming the 190,000 square foot, 1920s era mill into a modern facility. On signing the new lease, Shapiro says, “We are excited to welcome 1A back to Pepperell Place. We know how important the Town of Pepperell is to the Green family and I know the community looks forward to welcoming 1A back to Pepperell.” Lexvest is a privately-owned real estate investment, advisory and development company.

Lexvest’s Director of Commercial Leasing, Charles ‘Chip’ Detwiller says, “For business owners looking to expand, relocate, or launch their business in the Nashoba Valley region of north central Massachusetts, Pepperell Place is ideal. There’s a pool of skilled workers and easy access to Route 3 and I-495. Three state roads serve the town: Rtes. 111, 113 and 119.”

Approximately 70,000 square feet remain available at Pepperell Place for just about any use, says Detwiller. “Because of the property’s original design, we can configure space to suit tenants of any size, from the highest tech to the lowest.” He says 1A Auto’s new space boasts 20’ ceilings, 80’ width and 200’ length —clear span.”

This type of flexibility has attracted a wide variety of tenants: All Things Jeep, distributor of accessories for Jeeps and other off-roading vehicles; CELLTREAT, maker of cell culture and liquid handling products; Bionostics, a critical care clinical controls maker; East Coast Vinyl Decals, a decal, apparel and customized gift business; Fitness Your Weigh, a fitness studio; Arch Fitness, a group fitness center; and Inspire & Design. Interior design studio. “Where else would you find the unique types of space these businesses require?” Detwiller said. “Flex space – from single office to 60,000 square feet of contiguous space that can be configured for any small and large users. “

Green says, “The affordability of Pepperell Place is helping us improve our products for our customers. The project team at Pepperell Place has been great to work with during the buildout. We are excited!”