The new owners of Loveland’s Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology hope to see as many as 4,500 people working at the former Agilent Technologies plant over the next few years.
That figure is about half as large as initial estimates from various officials last year.
Representative of Kentucky-based Cumberland and Western told a breakfast meeting of members of the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. that they’re looking for a few anchor tenants to lead the way in terms of job-creation, with an undetermined number of smaller companies helping to fill the plant.
That figure, too, is a significant departure from reports that as many as 100 companies could someday occupy the plant.
“To accommodate that many companies there just isn’t feasible,´ said Kelly Peters, the NCEDC’s director of business retention and expansion. “It would require a huge retrofit that would cost more than if they razed it and started from the ground up.”
The breakfast on Friday was attended by representatives of companies that fund the NCEDC.
Peters said Cumberland and Western told those in attendance it would take years before the number of people working at the 811,000-square-foot plant reaches 4,500. That’s the capacity of the building, she said, and is roughly the same number of people who worked there when Hewlett-Packard had operations running there.
The developer, she said, declined to estimate how long it might take to attract enough companies that would employ that many people. “There’s no timeline,” she said. “No one wants to set one, because that would set the wrong expectations.”
The City of Loveland originally bought the property for $5.5 million, approximately its assessed value. Cumberland & Western paid $5 million in cash for 177 acres of the 300-acre property in a deal that closed in late 2011.