OXFORD, MA-A fast-growing fiber optics company has announced intentions to build a world headquarters facility in Central Massachusetts. IPG Photonics plans to construct four 35,000-sf buildings in Oxford. A $10.5-million loan package from First Massachusetts Bank will help fund the project.

The bank’s vice president of commercial lending, Doug MacLean, acknowledges that it is unusual for a bank to provide financing for a high-tech startup, but maintains that the work of IPG founder Valentin Gapontsev is promising enough to warrant the commitment. “He is a remarkable and forward-thinking individual, and Worcester County is the beneficiary of his decision to locate his world headquarters here,” says MacLean.

Although sharply rising rental rates within Route 128 may have also played a role in IPG’s choice of sites, Gapontsev points to the availability of skilled workers with optics expertise as another reason. There is also easy access from Route 395 into Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island, while Gapontsev notes that the cost of living and housing also are more palatable in the emerging Oxford region.

Pending local and state approvals, IPG will begin work by year’s end on the first of its four buildings, which will include a mix of office, research and manufacturing space. The 44-acre campus will have more than 200 employees within 18 months, according to IPG projections.

The company acquired the parcel last year for $800,000.

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