Microspec plans expansion, workforce housing

  • Tim Steele, right, CEO of Microspec Corporation in Peterborough, on the production floor of the company’s facility off of Route 202. —STAFF FILE PHOTO BY SCOTT MERRILL

  • Tim Steele, CEO and founder of Microspec Corporation, with his wife Elizabeth Steele.  —STAFF FILE PHOTO BY SCOTT MERRILL

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/28/2022 11:25:22 AM

For the Microspec Corporation in Peterborough, which produces custom medical tubing for some of the biggest medical-device companies in the world, including Johnson & Johnson, Medtronics and Stryker, the time has come to expand its facility, and part of the plan is to build workforce housing. 

Microspec employs 100 people and has recently added manufacturing space to the second floor at its Peterborough facility on Jaffrey Road (Route 202). However, founder and CEO Tim Steele said the booming business has caused a space crunch.

“We’re out of space at Microspec and we’re going to need to start turning business away because we don’t have the building to do it in,” Steele said. 

Microspec is proposing a new facility on a vacant 13-acre parcel in the area of a sandpit near a strip mall on Jaffrey Road. Steele said the plan is to push the building north about 400 to 500 feet. The property is in the Rural Zone, meaning it requires a variance, and the Peterborough Zoning Board of Adjustment will hear the proposal Oct. 3. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

“We’ve invested a lot of money in this. The eyesore that the sandpit is will not be an eyesore any more and we’re going to make it look nice,” Steele said, adding that the company has hired architectural and engineering firms and that they have a plan in place for the building. “But we’re going to need to get town approval.” 

When Steele and his wife Elizabeth, vice president of the company, present Microspec’s plan to the ZBA Oct. 3, they will also announce their hope to build 50 to 60 units of workforce housing on land they purchased in June behind the new facility.

“We’re applying for a variance to build the second Microspec building and that’s a priority before the workforce housing,” Steele said, but he guaranteed they would also include their vision for workforce housing.

Steele said if the workforce housing plan comes to fruition, the structures would be well-built, quality units. 

“We want them to be in the Peterborough style,” he said, adding that construction would likely be done in stages, starting with 15 to 20 units.

But first, Steele said he is focused on the new building for Microspec. 

“If we get the variance, we hope to break ground in the spring,” he said. “We’re going to put our vision for workforce housing in their ear next week, but that’s going to be ‘wait and see.’”

Microspec produces about 200,000 peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs)  and other types of catheters related to vascular procedures each year, which amount to millions of feet. Steele said he expects business to grow, and that he would like to see the expansion happen sooner than later. Currently, Microspec is working with Fractyl Health to produce the extruded tubing used in an interventional procedure, still in clinical trials, to treat type 2 diabetes.  

“They’ve passed all the FDA standards they’ve needed to pass and we’re making the extruded tubing that goes into the part. It’s a long piece of complex tubing,” Steele said, adding that Microspec is the sole source for the tubing. “We expect to be extruding for what is hopefully the last phase of clinical testing. We expect this to start hitting our books next year in a big way.”


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