Brammo Inc. is proud to announce that we are one step closer to expanding our local headquarters and bringing up to 200 additional employees to town.
The Ashland Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the plan to build a pair of two-story buildings and a private dirt test track for our electric motorcycles.
“It’s very exciting to see our growth here in Ashland, and it will be great having our initial production close in hand,” said Craig Bramscher, company founder and chief executive officer. “Anything we make that should go in the dirt will probably be developed here.”
The buildings at 777 Jefferson Ave. will house research, design, warehousing, administrative offices and the manufacturing of prototypes for Brammo. The buildings likely will replace our current headquarters on Clover Lane.
The planned expansion will bump the number of our local employees to 200 or 250 from about 40 now. About 20 percent of the additional workers will be hired locally.
The majority of the staff will be transferred from outside the community to further Brammo’s off-road electric vehicle development, which has become an emphasis of the company since Minnesota-based off-road and powersports vehicle maker Polaris Industries acquired $28 million worth of Brammo stock last October.
The Encite and Engage models of electric dirt bikes and any new all-terrain electric vehicle concepts it introduces will be designed in Ashland. Currently, the company does most of its off-road prototype work at a facility in Italy.
“I think it’s a great-looking project, and an asset to the city,” said planning Commissioner Mike Church.
Last September, Brammo purchased a chain of 16 European racetracks exclusively used by electric dirt bikes, which it renamed BrammoParx. By the end of 2013, we have hopes to open 100 similar parks in metropolitan areas across the U.S.
The 2.5-acre test track approved for Ashland will likely serve as a prototype track for BrammoParx in the U.S. The downsized track in Ashland will be used for demonstrating the potential of a full-scale park to potential investors.
The new buildings, which will measure 14,857 and 18,805 square feet, will hopefully be operational in seven to eight months. The search for a builder is ongoing and we are working to secure a loan to fund the project, so it may be a year, Bramscher said.