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ARCHIVED  April 1, 1997

Weld County lures 300-job firm

Weld County apparently has lured yet another large manufacturing firm.

Applied Films Corp. of Boulder is expected to announce its move to southwest Weld County early this month.

Though company officials told The Northern Colorado Business Report that a move is imminent, they would not confirm details of Applied Films’ move until final contracts are signed.

Bill Argo, president of the Greeley/Weld Economic Development Action Partnership Inc., declined to comment on prospective moves of any company, citing confidentiality concerns.

Applied Films, formerly known as Donnelly Applied Films, manufactures glass for use primarily in liquid crystal displays as well as transparent conductive thin film coated glass for use in flat-panel displays. It now employs approximately 250 people. That is expected to grow to at least 300 after the move.

It’s unclear where exactly Applied Films will relocate in Weld County, but several business parks in the southwest part of the county offer extensive opportunities for business growth.

Among those locations is Del Camino, a business crossroads at Interstate 25 and Colorado Highway 119. Several other Boulder County businesses have expanded into Del Camino, including Dovatron International, Hauser Chemical Research and Gerard’s Bakery.

Most recently, Boulder-based Magnelab Corp., a custom designer and manufacturer of transformers and power supplies, announced plans to relocate to Del Camino. The company, which employs 37, will move into a 16,000-square-foot facility there.

Concepts Direct Inc., a catalog-sales company based in Longmont, soon will move to a new facility on land annexed to Longmont but located in Weld County along Colorado Highway 119 leading to Del Camino.

Additionally, Cactus Investments, an investment group from Longmont, has signed a contract to purchase land at Del Camino on behalf of a Longmont firm that wishes to relocate to the area.

Ken Kanemoto, a broker with Prudential LTM Realtors of Longmont, markets much of the land in Del Camino.

“They have no signed contract with us,” he said of Applied Films.

Several communities in southwest Weld County openly court firms such as Applied Films.

“We’ll do backflips for jobs,´ said Rick Patterson, mayor of Firestone. “Good, clean industry is always welcome.”

The mayor said, however, that he is not aware of a specific deal with Applied Films in his town.

Rick Schreck, a real estate broker with Grubb & Ellis Co., said he first became aware of Applied Films’ intention to move approximately three years ago. Several brokers in the area apparently have courted the company. Schreck even tried to lure the firm to Broomfield’s Interlocken when he was marketing land there.

Clif Harald, vice president for business services at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, said that both the city of Boulder and Boulder County remain challenged by the effort to keep businesses from fleeing.

To that end, five economic-development agencies within Boulder County recently formed the Boulder County Employer Referral Network. The group’s sole purpose is to keep existing firms within the county.

For example, if a company displays its intentions to leave Boulder, members of the network will scramble to relocate it within the county, say to Longmont or Louisville.

“We just formed this in January and have yet to work with a company,” Harald said.

What makes the effort so frustrating, he said, is that most large companies plan their relocations quietly. Many are concerned about the public-relations uproar of them leaving, or are simply worried about employees’ reactions.

“The biggest concern we would have about a move (like Applied Films’) is how it will impact economic relationships they bring to the region,” Harald said.

He noted that employees who currently find it convenient to work in Boulder may not want to or be able to travel to southwest Weld County.

Weld County apparently has lured yet another large manufacturing firm.

Applied Films Corp. of Boulder is expected to announce its move to southwest Weld County early this month.

Though company officials told The Northern Colorado Business Report that a move is imminent, they would not confirm details of Applied Films’ move until final contracts are signed.

Bill Argo, president of the Greeley/Weld Economic Development Action Partnership Inc., declined to comment on prospective moves of any company, citing confidentiality concerns.

Applied Films, formerly known as Donnelly Applied Films, manufactures glass for use primarily in liquid crystal displays as well as transparent conductive thin film coated…

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