May 6--NASHUA -- A Connecticut-based maker of high-end infrared cameras for border and port security has purchased the former Teradyne facility on Simon Street for $3.8 million, and plans to move its Billerica, Mass., and Salem employees into the building in October.
Axsys Technologies Inc. closed the purchase of the 78,000-square-foot building at 24 Simon St. on April 26, according to Scott Conner, the company's senior vice president.
"We're excited to move to Nashua," Conner said Friday. "We have a lot of employees who live in New Hampshire, and we wanted to maintain those tax benefits for those employees."
The manufacturer has just under 200 employees between the Salem and Billerica locations.
The fact that Nashua offers many nearby hotels and restaurants was also a plus, Connor said. "We like that it's right on Route 3, which is a major route, for visibility."
Jay Minkarah, economic development director for Nashua, said he is glad the building will be occupied.
"The fact that it is going to involve manufacturing is extremely positive," Minkarah said. "We've seen a lot of people laid off from various manufacturing positions, so it's really encouraging to see a firm like this come into the area."
Teradyne, the parent company of Nashua-based Teradyne Connection Systems, placed the building on the market last April. It was valued at about $5 million, Teradyne Vice President of Communications Tom Newman said at the time.
Newman said Friday that the company feels it got a fair price for the building in today's market. "It was a competitive process, so we would have to feel OK where we ended up," he said. "The real estate market is fickle and variable, and I suspect we're fine getting out at that price."
Teradyne had been trying to sell the building for less than six months, Newman said. The company was selling the building because it sold its Nashua division to Connecticut-based Amphenol Corp.
Axsys makes high-end infrared surveillance cameras for border and port security. It recently won a contract for border security in Kuwait, Conner said.
The 40-year-old company also manufactures lenses for military platforms like tanks, as well as lenses for lower-end infrared cameras.
Axsys' Conner said the company is currently leasing office buildings in Salem and Billerica. Those leases will be up soon.
"We are really at capacity at both locations," Conner said. "We need to put them under one roof and have space for growth."
Connor said Axsys looked at buildings throughout southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. The former Teradyne building had the right size, price and geography, he said.
Contractors will soon start work to fit the building to Axsys' needs, and Conner said they plan to move in come October.
Axsys will gain 23,000 square feet with the move. It currently has roughly 55,000 square feet between the Salem and Billerica buildings.