Longmont City Council approves economic development incentives package

John Fryar, Daily Times-Call, Longmont, Colorado

October 28, 2021

Oct. 28—The Longmont City Council has approved providing about $300,000 in city tax and fee reductions in return for a company’s commitment to expand and locate a mutimillion-dollar development on a property on the Longmont site the company is leasing.

On Tuesday night, council members voted unanimously to give final approval to an ordinance and agreement implementing that economic development incentives package, one in which mBIO Diagnostics, doing business as LightDeck Diagnostics, will expand the company’s presence on a property at 1844 Nelson Road.

According to city staff and the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, LightDeck Diagnostics is looking to invest a total of $37.5 million to house 200 new employees who will be paid an average annual wage of $66,000.

City staff had reported to council that being requested in the incentives package were: rebate of eligible city building permit/plan review fees and city sales/use taxes on construction materials; and rebate of city personal property tax of 50% for each of the first four years the company is located in Longmont.

The estimated value to the company of the requested rebates is about $300,000, according to the agenda-item memo for an earlier council meeting. It said that based on the estimated total direct fiscal impact of the project of approximately $2 million, after these rebates the city would still recognize an estimated $1.7 million net direct positive fiscal impact over 10 years.

The Nelson Road property, the former GE Current site, has about 65,000 square feet of developed warehouse, manufacturing, and office space. Boulder-based LightDeck Diagnostics intends to renovate the facilities now on the property to accommodate its proposed operations there, renovations the ordinance says would involve construction costs of approximately $10 million, and machinery and equipment purchases of approximately $27.5 million for a potential total new investment of approximately $37.5 million.

“We’re excited that LightDeck decided to put down roots in our city and look forward to seeing the impact they’ll make here and on a global scale,” Longmont Economic Development Partnership President and CEO Jessica Erickson said in a news release earlier this month, after the council gave initial approval to the incentives-package ordinance.

“It’s exciting to take this next step toward supercharging our production capabilities,” LightDeck CEO Nick Traggis said in that news release. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to bring additional jobs to our home state of Colorado and hire more incredible people from the region, including local universities, of which many of us are alumni.”

LightDeck and the Longmont Economic Development Partnership said the company selected the facility at 1844 Nelson Road because of the company’s growing size and scope of work, and the positive fiscal and economic impacts it will have on Longmont and the local region.

The company’s agreement to lease the property comes three months after LightDeck announced that the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority awarded it $35.1 million to support domestic industrial base expansion for critical medical resources. By September 2022, LightDeck said, it aims to increase the production of its COVID-19 ultra-rapid antigen and total antibody tests from 50,000 to 1 million tests per month.

No one testified at Tuesday night’s public hearing on the incentives-package ordinance, and no council member commented on it that night, before the council voted its final approval of the measure.

LightDeck sets aggressive timeline for Longmont expansion

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