Security company’s growth warrants two moves in under a year in downtown Kennebunk
KENNEBUNK — Griffon Security Technologies has been growing quickly: Shortly after founder and President Timothy Barrett moved the company into a 4,600-square-foot office building in downtown Kennebunk, he realized he’d need to find larger space.
Griffon principals Timothy Barrett and David Douin, together with a third investor under the ownership name of Anchor Light Properties LLC, purchased 22,749 square feet of Class A office space at 5 Fletcher St. in Kennebunk from Kennebunk Savings Bank for $1.1 million. The deal closed May 5 and was financed by Griffon Security’s longtime banking partner Machias Savings Bank.
Kirk Butterfield of Investcomm Commercial Group represented Anchor Light Properties LLC, and Catie Seavey and Drew Sigfridson of CBRE | The Boulos Co. represented Kennebunk Savings Bank.
Last September, Butterfield represented Griffon in the purchase of the company’s current location at 14 Fletcher St., across the street from the new location. That property was also previously owned and occupied by Kennebunk Savings Bank, and the purchase was also financed by Machias Savings Bank.
The May 5 purchase is noteworthy not only as a testament to Griffon’s growth, but for the additional Class A office space the company will create and lease in Kennebunk, where such space has been in short supply, Butterfield said.
A rapid ascent in a specialty field
Barrett, a native Mainer, started his career as an electronics engineer in the 1980s. In the early 1990s, he took a position with a New Jersey security integration firm.
“We took a small company and built it into substantial player in the market,” he said. After the owner sold the company, Barrett decided to move back to Maine.
“I noticed there was a significant need for security system integrators in this market,” he said. “So, in 2002 I started Griffon Security and opened up shop working out of my basement.”
The company is “what’s referred to as ‘security system integrators,’ which basically means we provide high-end security systems for large to mid-sized companies,” Barrett said. Installation and service of card access systems and video surveillance camera systems form the bulk of his business.
Today the company has more than 25 employees. Revenue has grown from the low hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first couple of years to well over $4 million today. The rate of growth has increased, too — doubling several times since 2012. Large clients include Maine Medical Center, the Portland International Jetport, the University of Maine and Fairpoint Communications.
The jobs are a mix: small clients might have two to four cameras and card access readers, and large clients would have many hundreds of each. The industry overall has trended up since he started in the early 1990s, he said.
“It’s one of those industries where the costs continue to come down and the technologies improve,” he said. “As they become less expensive, companies install more cameras and more card access systems, because they can afford to. The good news is that everyone’s level of security is becoming better, and it’s not necessarily costing more.”
Barrett took on his business partner, David Douin, in 2011. Douin is a CPA with extensive business experience who has been a major catalyst for the company’s rapid growth, and developed the partnership with Machias Savings Bank that which has helped fuel Griffon Security’s success, Barrett said.
“David and I purchased the building we’re in now, 14 Fletcher St., in October of 2016,” Barrett said. “We thought we had enough space for growth, but we barely had enough space to cover our existing staff, because we had ramped up and had hired three more people.”
The 5 Fletcher St. property is two attached buildings, one historic and one modern. It’s part of downtown Kennebunk’s upper square historic district. Minor renovations are under way to convert the building from single tenant space to multi-tenant, he said.
Barrett expects Griffon Security to occupy approximately 7,000 square feet in the building by September.
Barrett expressed appreciation for Kennebunk Savings Bank as the sellers.
“They were great through this entire process — incredibly helpful, and they kept their buildings well maintained,” he said. “They’re very easy people to work with.”