Norton Business Park

The new business park under construction off Leonard Street in Norton, seen here in June 2020.

NORTON — A large appliance store planning to move into the town’s new business park is getting a tax break.

Residents at a special town meeting Monday night overwhelmingly approved the break for Yale Appliance, which had been located in the industrial park in Mansfield before moving to Stoughton.

Eighty-one residents turned out for the rare summer town meeting held in the high school auditorium, and masks were required.

Acting on the recommendation of local health officials, select board members voted Thursday night to require masks in all town buildings.

Under the so-called Tax Increment Financing agreement, Yale Appliance and Condyne, the owner of Blue Star Business Park on Leonard Street, would have 85 percent of taxes exempt the first year of 10-year agreement. The break would be reduced each year, ending at 35 percent by the final year.

The break would amount to $1.186 million, and $1.2 million would be paid in taxes.

Yale Appliance would go into a 210,000-square-foot building on a 27-acre site. The property owner is getting a tax break on an estimated $17.75 million cost.

Yale would lease the building for its new headquarters, distribution operations and retail showroom. It was looking for a tax break for its projected investment of $1 million but would also see smaller lease payments.

The business dates to 1923 and sells and services refrigerators, ranges, washers and dryers, ovens and grills.

Besides its headquarters and distribution center in Stoughton, it has three retail locations, in Boston, Framingham and Hanover.

Yale Appliance plans to relocate 100 workers and hire 15 more full-time employees over five years. Norton residents would have first crack at the new jobs, and local businesses priority as suppliers and vendors.

“We’re going to have a lot of good jobs here,” said Steve Sheinkopf, whose family has owned the business since 1932.

Some residents had concerns about truck traffic, but Sheinkopf said only a few trucks will be in and out of the building a day and will use nearby Interstate 495.

George Hast opposed the tax deal, contending the highway access is enough incentive for the business to relocate to Norton.

“There’s $1 million plus sitting on the sidelines. What’s next?” said another opponent, James Veglas of Downing Drive.

Town Manager Michael Yunits pointed out four of the five top taxpayers in town have or had tax breaks: Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Auto Parts International, Horizon Beverage and Home Market Foods.

Members of the finance committee, economic development commission and select board favored the tax break.

About a dozen residents voted against it.

Sheinkopf said Yale Appliance has a long history of donating to local causes, including food pantries and veterans, and community involvement, including supporting education. It has its own foundation that has donated millions, he said.

“Giving back is a huge part of what we do,” Sheinkopf said.

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