C. Cowles buys former Marlin plant in No. Haven



After 176 years as a mainstay of the Elm City business community, C. Cowles & Co. is leaving town. The company has acquired the former Marlin Arms factory at 100 Kenna Drive, North Haven for $1.7 million.

“We wanted to combine operations and Water Street facility wasn’t big enough,” explains Cowles CEO Larry Moon.

The Marlin plant, which closed in 2011, is a 226,000-square-foot single-story structure on 23.5 acres, with approximately 20,000 square feet of office space and 206,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space.

Moon said he found the site on his own after speaking with several commercial brokers.

The Binswanger Co. represented the property for the seller, the Remington Arms Co. It was initially marketed to firearms manufacturers, according to James M. Panczykowski, executive vice president of Binswanger, which specializes in manufacturing and distribution facilities.

“We had some interest but started shifting gears to mainline manufacturers,” Panczykowski says. “The town of North Haven was instrumental in making the deal with Coles. First Selectman Mike Freda made them comfortable that North Haven was a good spot to be.”

The new location will have a training facility for contractors “and people who use our equipment in the heating industry,” says Moon. “We’re also building a lab that will enable us to develop new and more efficient heating products.”

Founded in 1838, Cowles originally manufactured lanterns for horse-drawn carriages. It now has around 180 full-time employees and six divisions in Connecticut and Massachusetts, including metal stamping, plastic injection molding, commercial lighting, boiler controls and automotive accessories.

After the move is completed, Moon plans to sell Cowles’ New Haven building.