LightDeck Diagnostics, a Boulder-based diagnostic-testing company, is planning a major expansion into Longmont.
The company is seeking a tax and fee rebate from Longmont to begin a $37.5 million, 200-worker operation at 1844 Nelson Road, a 65,000-square-foot leased building that was formerly home to a division of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE).
LightDeck Diagnostics, which will maintain its Boulder headquarters, is a trade name for mBio Diagnostics Inc. The company has developed the LightDeck testing platform that combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials to conduct rapid testing, and has developed numerous diagnostic tests, including some developed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An ordinance that sets forth about $300,000 in tax and fee rebates for LightDeck is set to be introduced Tuesday on Longmont City Council’s consent agenda, with a public hearing and final vote likely to occur later this month.
The LightDeck project could be a big win for Longmont “both in terms of job creation and the economic impact potential,” Longmont Economic Development Partnership CEO Jessica Erickson told BizWest. “This will be another strong life sciences company,” an industry the city has long sought to grow.
“Any time we can build a cluster of companies in an industry like this that pays high wages and has great potential for future growth, that’s where we’re interested in investing and supporting.”
The 200 new jobs created at the LightDeck facility will be an average annual wage of $66,000.
Should the LightDeck project come to fruition, the Longmont Economic Development Partnership will have achieved much of its annual goal in one fell swoop.
“The 2021 target goal within the city’s contract with Longmont EDP is to attract, relocate, or expand 10 primary industry businesses that will create 500 new, well-paying jobs and invest $50 million in capital investment,” according to a Longmont memo.
“Speed to market was a big consideration” in LightDeck’s decision to look to Longmont for its expansion.
Renovations at the former GE building are expected to cost $10 million, and LightDeck plans to spend an additional $27.5 million on new equipment and machinery.
The Nelson Road building is owned by Trafalgar Holdings LLC and Duodecimus Properties LLC, Boulder County property records show. Both entities are registered to the same Anchorage, Alaska address.
BizWest first reported on LightDeck’s intent to expand in July, when the company secured a $35.1 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to increase production capacity of its COVID-19 antibody test.
LightDeck recently inked a deal with Loveland-based Hach Co., a subsidiary of Danaher Corp. that conducts water-quality analysis. Hach sells a LightDeck test that detects two of the most-common toxins in harmful algae blooms.
LightDeck — which last year expanded its Boulder leased space at 5603 Arapahoe Ave., adding 10,000 square feet for a total of 27,000 square feet — also works with Heska Corp. (Nasdaq: HSKA), a Loveland-based veterinary pharmaceutical company.
The company, growing over the past 18 months and expanding from 18 employees to more than 100, began operating under the LightDeck name in October 2020, after a merger with Boulder-based Brava Diagnostics Inc.
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