"Manchester is a hot spot, especially for a company like mine," says Manchester Music Mill owner, Joe Lacerda. "The city has a lot of history, especially downtown - I knew this is exactly where I wanted the Manchester Music Mill to be."
CRDC Executive Director, Stephen Heavener, with Manchester Music Mill's owner Joe Lacerda and CRDC Loan Officer, Jennifer Boulanger.
Lacerda started his business in the Millyard, but the need for more room and higher visibility led him to South Elm Street where he leased space for four years, ironically just one building over from his current location. With a desire to stay downtown, South Elm Street particulary, the building he wanted was not for sale, but that didn't stop Lacerda from his pursuit of expanding space to meet the growth of his successful music store. "Downtown is the perfect location for our walk-in customers," Lacerda added. He struck a deal with the owners of Van Otis Chocolates to buy the 20,000 square foot building located at 341 Elm Street, just two blocks from the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The next step was financing. Lacerda connected with Stephen Heavener, Executive Director of CRDC and CRDC Loan Officer, Jennifer Boulanger. Heavener a music lover and guitar collector himself knew Manchester Music Mill's business model well and recommended an SBA 504 loan as his best option.
"Stephen was very professional and aggressive in a good way, "said Lacerda. "He along with Jennifer got behind me from the get go, and really came up with the best financing solution for me. They worked seamlessly with my bank and got the deal done. For me, the most challenging part of this project was the construction."
A conveyor belt and other existing old building quirks that was part of Van Otis' daily business operations proved to be a construction obstacle. Lacerda tapped into his engineering background and designed a music facility which goes beyond a retail footprint. The Manchester Music Mill's 11,000 sq. ft. includes 12 sound proof rooms designed for lessons, plus space for The Music Techs, an instrument repair shop owned and operated by his wife, Dawn. The remaining 9,000 feet of space continues to be the Van Otis store, a lease now managed by Lacerda. Check out the Manchester Music Mill's store by visiting www.manchestermusicmill.com or visit The Music Techs online at www.themusictechs.com.