New building to be constructed on former Tallman Transport site
WELLAND — The former site of Tallman Transport on Niagara Street will not sit idle much longer.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, Bertie and Clinton Mutual Insurance Company announced it will be moving its headquarters from Merrittville Highway in Thorold to the former home of the shipping company that, in 2013, closed its doors after more than 50 years of operation.
The 135-year-old insurance company plans to begin demolition of the former transportation hub within the week and hopes construction of a new two-storey 11,067-square-foot office building could start in November.
Bertie and Clinton director and building committee chair Brian Heaslip explained the company has outgrown its current building in Thorold, with little room to expand its operations there.
“Here we can grow for the next 100 years,” he said, noting the company searched across the region for a proper location before settling on Niagara Street in Welland.
“It’s a community that really was looking for business,” he said. “It’s a refreshing thing to see.”
Heaslip was quick to praise the Welland Economic Development Commission for its work in efficiently guiding the company through any red tape and connecting the company with incentives under the Welland Gateway Community Improvement Plan (CIP).
“Right from the get go they were upfront with everything we needed to do,” he said.
Development commission manager Dan Degazio said the company will receive tax rebates under the CIP over the next five years based on the costs of construction and employment numbers at the new headquarters. While the construction costs have not yet been finalized Heaslip said the project could cost up to $4 million.
Degazio admitted it was sad to see Tallman’s close up shop. However, he said Thursday’s news is a win for the city and the area.
Bertie and Clinton CEO Racheal Siciliano said the company will be moving 32 employees from Thorold to the new office building that could open before the end of 2016. She said there are plans to add new positions as the company expands with its new location.
“We are hoping to hire anywhere from 20 to 25 within the next five years,” she said.
Steve Henschel is a reporter and award-winning photographer covering the communities of Welland, Pelham, Port Colborne and Wainfleet for Niagara This Week in addition to contributing to Niagara Life magazine. He has a passion for telling the stories of those living in south Niagara and hopes to one day take life seriously. Follow him on Twitter.