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Claremont city officials hope to sell the old National Guard building on Winter Street to a manufacturing company. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)

Manufacturing company looks to buy National Guard armory building in Claremont


CLAREMONT — A small manufacturing company in Croydon is hoping to buy the former National Guard armory on Winter Street to relocate and expand.

When the New Hampshire National Guard abandoned the 14,000-square-foot armory in 2009, ownership reverted to the city, City Manager Guy Santagate said Thursday.

The city has been trying to find the right steward for it ever since, he said.

The city at one point had planned to sell the building for just $1 so it could be used as a county emergency dispatch center, but that never worked out, he said.

City officials would like nothing more than to have the building back on the tax rolls, but the right offer didn’t come along.

“We’ve had it on the market from time to time, and we’ve had some offers, but we never thought the fit was there,” Santagate said.

However, Wednesday night City Council members agreed to accept an offer of $150,000 from True Tool Innovations of Croydon for the building.

“We’re a high precision manufacturer of cutting instruments and medical instruments,” owner Brian McKahan said Thursday. “We’re a clean company. We’re a clean business. Everything we do here is environmentally sound.”

McKahan said he and his wife currently employee six people but would like to expand their high-tech workforce.

The larger production area of about 7,000-square-feet in the armory would allow for the immediate addition of new equipment and one employee to start with, he said.

For the past five years the 5,000-square-foot True Tools building in Croydon has prevented the business from growing.

“We’re busting at the seams,” he said.

McKahan said the armory would be a fantastic location for the business.

Santagate said the building is assessed at about $700,000, but is in need of a lot of work.

If the deal goes through the city would have $150,000 and the building back on the tax rolls, he said.

“It would bring ongoing jobs and taxes to the city,” Santagate said.

mpierce@unionleader.com

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