PAWTUCKET – Cumberland pet food distributor Pet Food Experts Inc. has reached an agreement with the city to buy a building on Main Street in downtown Pawtucket and move its corporate offices there.
A third generation family business that started as an East Providence pet store in 1936, Pet Food Experts will pay $2.2 million for the city-owned, three-story, 56,000-square-foot building at 175 Main Street, according to city officials.
The company will bring about 70 employees to downtown Pawtucket.
“We are very excited about what this means for Pawtucket, especially for our downtown,” Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien said in a news release announcing the sale. “Pet Food Experts will bring an influx of professionals that we believe will provide a catalyst for further economic investment in our city. My economic team and I will continue working closely with them to assure their entry into Pawtucket is as smooth as possible.”
Grebien spokesman Douglas Hadden said most of the employees will come from the Cumberland facility, but the company is expected to grow and bring in new workers in the near future.
Pet Food Experts is buying the building, built in 1969 for the Peerless department store, from the Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency, which acquired it for $625,000 in 1992, according to city assessor’s records.
The property was last assessed in fiscal 2012 at $4.86 million.
The Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency has leased the building to various tenants including current first floor occupants the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, which will remain there, according to the news release.
“With so much of our company and family history here in the state of Rhode Island, we are thrilled to find the perfect place in the heart of Pawtucket to accommodate our growing company,” said Pet Food Experts Owner and President Michael G. Baker in the news release.
Pet Food Experts’ current headquarters is on the east bank of the Blackstone River at 1 John C. Dean Memorial Blvd in Cumberland, just south of Ashton Mill.
Pet Food Experts has hired Vision 3 Architects of Providence to renovate the interior of 175 Main St.