BANGOR, Maine — Online home furnishings retailer Wayfair has been cleared to move into Bangor with 450 jobs after the City Council approved unanimously a lease agreement Monday night.
The Boston-based company is planning an August move to the call center occupied by L.L. Bean at the corner of Maine Avenue and Godfrey Boulevard, where it expects to place 450 customer service specialists. It also plans to set up another call center with 500 employees in Brunswick.
L.L. Bean announced plans to close its Bangor call center in 2014, and city staff immediately began trying to find someone to replace it.
“450 full-time jobs with good pay is the definition of a success,” said Councilor Joe Baldacci.
Under the terms of the seven-year lease, Wayfair will pay $16,250 per month in rent, increasing to $17,725 after 60 months. The lease includes two options for five-year extensions.
Wayfair offers entry-level customer service representatives medical and dental insurance, a 401k match, tuition reimbursement and other benefits, according to its website. Wayfair will be offering “competitive” wages, spokeswoman Jane Carpenter said Monday. She declined to disclose a wage range because the company is “assessing the market” to determine what those wages will be.
Officials at L.L. Bean confirmed late last month that they had been asked to vacate the building a month earlier than expected in order to accommodate a new tenant. L.L. Bean had about 200 year-round employees, but it had higher counts around the holiday season.
In other business, Bangor International Airport’s domestic passenger terminal will be renamed in honor of its longest serving director, Peter D’Errico. The council unanimously approved the change during the Monday night meeting.
D’Errico held the role for 20 years, starting in 1970, two years after the city purchased the former Dow Air Force Base when it closed.
The terminal’s first floor is in the midst of a $14.4 million renovation to overhaul baggage handling and passenger flow and modernize its appearance. That work is scheduled to wrap up later this year. With the new look, the city wanted to recognize the man who helped set it on the path for the future after the devastating news of the base closure, according to Bangor International Airport Director Anthony Caruso.
Councilors took turns Monday night crediting D’Errico for his years of hard work in the community.
“The city of Bangor owes you a great debt,” Council Chairman Sean Faircloth said.
D’Errico is credited with bringing more than 50 companies to the airport during his time and fostering a partnership with the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Air Refueling Wing. He also served twice on Bangor’s City Council — including one brief stint from 1969 to 1970 and a two-term tenure from 2003 to 2009.
The former director attended Monday night’s meeting alongside his daughter and thanked the councilors for their consideration. City officials and audience members thanked D’Errico with a standing ovation and a cake.
D’Errico’s 85th birthday was Sunday.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.