A biotechnology company has submitted engineering and building documents to begin construction of a new facility in Camas.
According to Paul Dennis, president and CEO of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, Clark County based Alpha-Tec Systems, Inc., plans to construct a 42,000 square foot building on Northwest Camas Meadows Drive. The new facility would initially employ 50 to 55 people, and provide space for the company to grow.
“It’s definitely being built for them to be able to increase their operations,” Dennis said, adding that he has been told the company does not plan to leave its current leased facility at 12019 N.E. 99th St.
Phone and email inquiries to the company were not returned as of press deadlines.
City documents indicate that the $9 million project would include 20,891 square feet of office space, 18,851 square feet of manufacturing space and 2,000 square feet of warehouse area.
City Senior Planner Sarah Fox said most of the necessary land use permits have been clarified in a development agreement approved by City Council earlier this year.
The agreement was put into place so that the owner of the 5-acre parcel, Pedwar Development Group, could “construct a facility to manufacture medical devices.” Pedwar purchased the property in June 2012 for $675,000, according to Clark County property records.
In a July 2012 interview with the Post-Record Dennis referred to the company as “biotech 1,” as it worked through the due diligence process. Alpha-Tec officials, he said, had concerns about how storm water regulation standards would impact construction of the facility they wanted to build. Camas Mayor Scott Higgins added that the impacts of new federal health care laws on the company’s bottom line had also been an issue.
“It’s very good news; we’re excited,” Higgins said about plans for the project to move forward. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time.”
Dennis has led CWEDA since June 2011. He said communications with Alpha-Tec officials first began in 2006, when he was mayor of Camas. At the time, Alpha-Tec ultimately decided to design a facility for another Clark County site. Then the downturn in the economy hit, and the company put those plans on hold.
“For better or worse, they didn’t pull the trigger on that site,” Dennis said.“Even though we didn’t make the final cut in ‘06, still being able to walk away and leave it on good terms meant a lot.”
Alpha-Tec will join other Camas Meadows companies including Logitech, XXXX and XXX. Higgins said Alpha-Tec’s decision to build in Camas is important for the city on several different levels.
“It could be a kickoff for more happening again out there in the Camas Meadows,” Higgins said. “It’s also a significant entry into a sector we thought would be a good fit for us. There’s not a whole lot of it in the Portland-Metro area. For us, it’s another diversification.”