MOSCOW — Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield and two investors from Massachusetts are buying land and buildings owned for decades by the federal government and plan to develop energy generating plants on the site as well as lease space to businesses.

Cianbro, along with Massachusetts investors Conroy Development Corp. and Jay Cashman Inc., announced Monday that the partnership will buy the site, formerly used as a U.S. Air Force backscatter radar station.

Cianbro CEO Peter Vigue said Monday that the purchase of the site, which includes about 1,300 acres and 30,000 square feet of “high-quality” building space built by the federal government in the 1970s, is a joint venture among the three parties.

Developers plan to hire locally, said Selectman Elvin Hawes.

Vigue said the development would create both temporary construction work and permanent jobs at the power plants and with business tenants. It will also expand the town’s tax base.

Besides the three buildings, the site has a power substation and transmission lines, Vigue said. He said he hopes the prospect of cheap electricity bills will lure other businesses to the area.

He said the group already has talked with companies that want to move there.

Vigue said he, Cashman and other associates met with Moscow selectmen April 5. Conroy Development, of Stoughton, Mass., is a commercial real estate development and investment company specializing in office and industrial properties. Jay Cashman Inc., is a heavy construction company based in Quincy, Mass.

Moscow First Selectman Donald Beane said the former radar site has been off the town tax books for many years because it was owned by the U.S. government, and he welcomes the added property tax revenue.

“We’re very happy about it and optimistic that it will help the economy of this area that badly needs improving,” Beane said Monday. “We’re very pleased that Cianbro is associated with them, as they are such a respectable and reliable company here in Maine.”

The Air Force’s Over the Horizon backscatter system was developed in 1970. It was mothballed in 1997 and dismantled in 2009.

The federal General Services Administration sold the property for $730,000 in December to Western Maine Realty, a firm with ties to Jay Cashman Inc.

Vigue said his company has had crews at the site for the past two weeks cleaning up the area and securing the buildings for prospective investors.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at: [email protected]