Frederick documents confirm major Agilent expansion plan

FREDERICK — California-based life-sciences company Agilent Technologies Inc. is planning a major expansion at its Frederick manufacturing hub.

BizWest first speculated on the company’s expansion plans, which could nearly double its Colorado workforce and nearly quadruple its physical footprint in Frederick, last week when the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved an incentive package aimed at coaxing an unnamed biotechnology company to increase its presence in the Weld County town, a capital project that the state estimates could cost upward of $784 million. 

Agilent did not confirm or deny its expansion aspirations last week. BizWest has since discovered publicly available memos submitted over the last year or so to Frederick planning staffers that shed additional light on the company’s plans, which representatives did not immediately comment on Tuesday. 

The Santa Clara, California-headquartered Agilent began developing its 130,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on 20 acres in the Eagle Business Park adjacent to Interstate 25 in 2016.

The company — which, according to its website, “provides laboratories worldwide with instruments, services, consumables, applications and expertise, enabling customers to gain the insights they seek” — also has existing operations in Boulder. All told, Agilent employs about 520 workers in Colorado, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade documents show.

“Agilent is planning to expand its existing facility located at the northwest corner of Tipple Parkway [and] Eagle Boulevard,” according to a traffic analysis report provided to Frederick planners. “The expansion project is anticipated to add 310,000 square feet of manufacturing building, 61,000 square feet of associated office uses, 42,000 square feet of warehouse/central utility plant, 2,000 square feet of drum storage expansion and 10,000 square feet of tank farm.”

The expansion, which planning documents show is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, would “accommodate approximately 465 additional employees for the Agilent facility.”

Agilent, much like it did when the existing Frederick operation was built, has turned to public bodies to help subsidize the project.

The EDC, which does not typically identify the companies it is recruiting until incentives are accepted, last week approved a roughly $1.79 million incentive package over five years for the Frederick expansion project, called Project Olive in OEDIT documents.

Should Project Olive accept the subsidy and move forward with its plans in Weld County, the company will be expected to create at least 275 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $89,094. Those jobs would include manufacturing and research and development chemists, facilities and maintenance engineers, quality assurance and control specialists, technical engineers and writers, and supply-chain and project managers.

Agilent’s Frederick “expansion project is anticipated to add 310,000 square feet of manufacturing building,” along with more than 100,000 square feet of space for other uses, town planning documents show. Source: Frederick planning documents.

According to OEDIT, officials in Frederick and Weld County, representatives of which did not respond to request for comment, have “both preliminarily approved incentives” worth nearly $9.4 million over 10 years, “and will be moving forward with formal approvals at the appropriate time.”

It’s unclear when, how and in what form those incentives were “preliminarily approved.”

Source: BizWest

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