News Articles

Medway firm helps beverage company relocate

By By Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Jul 17, 2011 @ 12:18 AM

MEDWAY — Finding good economic news these days is like finding a needle in all of Monet's haystacks.

But success stories do exist, and Business Development Strategies Inc. (BDS), a Medway-based government incentives consulting firm, has played a major role in several. The latest company to benefit from BDS' expertise is Horizon Beverage Inc., which is in the process of moving from Avon to Norton. In addition to relocating, Horizon is expanding into a larger space, retaining its 381 full-time jobs and creating 35 new jobs.

Photo by Dennis Stein/Daily News and
Wicked Local

Lynn Tokarczyk, president of Business Development Strategies in Medway, stands with Michael Epstein, vice president of operations of Horizon Beverage Inc., in Horizon's Avon headquarters. Horizon is moving to Norton.

A privately held, family-owned distributor of spirits, wine and beer - the largest in New England - Horizon Beverage recently secured more than $2.8 million in state and local tax incentives for the expansion, consolidation and relocation of its operations to the former General Motors distribution center in Norton.

The fourth-generation Massachusetts business intends to invest an estimated $43 million to purchase and renovate the vacant 404,353-square-foot facility, and to construct an additional 160,000-square-foot onsite distribution and office space.

Horizon Beverage serves liquor stores, restaurants, lounges, hotels and other establishments such as Roche Bros., Norton Liquors, Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and others with a full range of products from exclusive, premium items to mass-market goods.

The company's successful sprint to achieving state and local approval was led by Lynn Tokarczyk, BDS' president and founder. The consulting firm helped Horizon Beverage negotiate state and local tax incentives, nurture relationships with government officials and cut through layers of bureaucratic red tape.

''Lynn Tokarczyk and the BDS team played a critical role in the development of our new distribution center in Norton,'' said Michael Epstein, vice president of operations and general counsel of Horizon Beverage. ''By accessing the commonwealth's Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP), we were able to secure advantageous tax benefits in the form of a state investment tax credit and Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which allowed the project to become financially viable.

''The EDIP process is time-consuming and complex. It involves voluminous paperwork, extensive economic analysis, numerous presentations to municipal and state officials and public hearings, and Lynn delivered on her promises for a favorable outcome. I would never undertake a development project without BDS on my team.''

Norton Board of Selectmen Chairman Bob Kimball praised Tokarczyk and the BDS team for their ability to bring the Horizon Beverage project to a successful conclusion.

''This is the third important expansion project Lynn has delivered to the town of Norton over the past five years,'' Kimball said. ''With Lynn's outstanding track record and attention to detail, we feel confident that the town of Norton is positioned to secure another win.''

In March, a state investment tax credit and TIF were approved by the state's Economic Assistance Coordinating Council. Horizon Beverage and its employees expect to spend an estimated $500,000 annually with local businesses.

Tokarczyk credits the town of Norton for its pro-business attitude, and the Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce for providing essential community outreach for the project among business and community leaders.

''The chamber was extremely instrumental in helping the project achieve a favorable vote by Norton Town Meeting and attracting Horizon Beverage to Norton,'' she said. The Horizon Beverage project is scheduled to start in one week. The first phase is expected to be completed next year with the second phase finished in 2014.

Horizon benefited from the following incentives:

  • $350,000 state EDIP investment tax credit (utilized over a 3-year period)
  • $803,532 local TIF (over a 13-year period)
  • $1,648,400 100 percent local personal property tax exemption (over a 13-year period). Horizon will pay no personal property taxes to the town of Norton annually over 13 years.

Norton will collect full taxes (estimated at $291,640 taxes annually) on the 404,353-square-foot building. The town will generate an estimated $1.7 million in new revenue (real estate taxes, vehicle excise tax and permit fees) as a result of the Horizon project.

Established by Tokarczyk in 2003, BDS helps expanding companies identify, negotiate and secure government incentives for real estate expansion projects that create and retain jobs and enhance the state and local economy. Over the past eight years, BDS clients have saved more than $50 million with BDS' guidance.

In MetroWest, BDS has assisted Barry Controls in Hopkinton, Lonza Biologics in Hopkinton, A. Duie Pyle in Northborough, Hologic in Marlborough, Marlborough Savings Bank in Marlborough, Consigli Construction in Milford and Victory Packaging in Milford.

Hailing from Natick, Tokarczyk now resides in Bellingham. Before starting BDS, she owned and operated a women's apparel shop in Wayland and worked in the state's Office of Business Development and at Ernst & Young.

"Our focus (at BDS) is our company logo - a key... that opens doors and unlocks value, which is the key to success,'' said Tokarczyk.