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Agilent Technologies pharmaceuticals facility to bring up to 200 jobs to Frederick

Posted on: Aug 11 16

by: admin

by Joshua Lindenstein on August 10, 2016
#FREDERICK — California-based life-sciences firm Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced Wednesday that it is planning to build a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Frederick, where it will eventually employ 150 to 200 people, with average annual wages of $77,206.

The new facility complements Agilent’s manufacturing operations in Boulder, where the firm’s Nucleic Acids Solutions Division employs about 175 people. The Boulder facility will remain open, and the #Frederick location will allow the company to more than double its manufacturing capabilities for the division, company officials said.

Agilent, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., had also considered Austin, Texas, for the new facility but ultimately chose Frederick largely for its proximity to Boulder. A spokeswoman for the company said the decision to build new rather than expand in Boulder was primarily due to space availability.

Frederick Mayor Tony Carey said in a phone interview that the facility would no doubt make Agilent one of the largest private employers for the growing town of roughly 11,000 people.

“I think the philosophy of our current town board and the previous board is that jobs are key to smart growth for any community,” Carey said. “This is the most significant job growth opportunity possibly that we’ve ever had in Frederick.”

The Agilent facility will be built on 20 acres of commercial real estate just northwest of the intersection of Tipple Parkway and Silver Birch Boulevard, not far from the junction of Interstate 25 and Colorado Highway 52. Agilent closed on the $1.83 million purchase of the land from USE Real Estate Holdings LLC on July 27, according to Weld County property records.

Agilent is planning to begin construction of the Frederick facility by the end of the year, and Rich Werner, CEO of Upstate Colorado Economic Development, said it’s anticipated that the site will become operational in the second quarter of 2018.

Upstate coordinated the courtship of Agilent along with the town of Frederick, Weld County and Colorado economic-development officials. Werner said Agilent has been offered an incentive package from Frederick, Weld and the state worth $5.4 million in all.

“This is an example of all of these different entities coming together to get this deal done,” Werner said.

In January, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved $2,385,017 in state incentives for the Agilent site, then nicknamed Project Apothecary. The state incentives are tied to the company creating 170 jobs over eight years with an average annual wage that meets or exceeds the Weld County average of $46,644. Agilent officials at the time gave state officials the anticipated $77,206 figure.

The company can start collecting the state incentives on a prorated basis once 20 new full-time jobs have been created and maintained for a year. Sam Bailey, senior manager of industry development for the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, said it’s anticipated that most of Agilent’s hiring in Frederick will take place in the first three to five years of the site being operational.

Minutes from the January EDC meeting indicate that the estimated capital investment for the project is expected to be $135 million over seven years.

Werner said Weld has offered personal property tax incentives, and that the Frederick incentives are tied largely to infrastructure needs.

“Frederick really worked hard,” Werner said. “They have a great site for them. And they have kind of met every request of the company” in terms of infrastructure and timelines. “Timelines are so critical to companies when they’re making these decisions.”

Agilent, which spun off from Hewlett-Packard in 1999, has operations spread across a variety of markets related to the life sciences, diagnostics and chemical markets. The company had a large presence in Loveland until 2014, when Agilent spun off Keysight Technologies into a separate company. At that point, Agilent’s Loveland operations became a part of Keysight.

Agilent had 2015 fiscal-year revenue of $4.04 billion, and employs about 12,000 people worldwide.

“The products manufactured (at the Frederick site) will be used by our customers to improve the lives of patients suffering from a variety of diseases,” Skip Thune, general manager of Agilent’s Nucleic Acids Solutions Division, said in a news release.

Carey, in the news release, said the Agilent campus will have a ripple effect.

“The impact of new high-paying jobs and millions of dollars in investment will trigger a huge positive ripple through the local economy, pumping new revenue into everything from restaurants to housing,” Carey said.

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