WMU News

Tacoma, Wash., firm moving to BTR Park

March 19, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A Tacoma, Wash., life sciences firm will move to Kalamazoo in the coming months and establish the research and development part of its operation in WMU's Business Technology and Research Park.

CTS Management LLC, a diagnostic testing firm specializing in substance abuse testing, is expected to bring nearly 200 jobs to the community when it locates its administrative and testing operations in the former Bronson hospital facility in downtown Kalamazoo. CTS also plans to open a laboratory of up to 40,000 square feet at the BTR Park.

CTS, which stands for Comprehensive Toxicological Services, already has personnel on campus preparing research space in McCracken Hall, which is the temporary site of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, a business incubator that will eventually be located at the BTR Park. According to Bob Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach, CTS originally planned to occupy about 12,000 square feet of laboratory space in the innovation center, but now is discussing a larger, stand-alone facility at the BTR Park.

"We've known since the beginning of negotiations with this company, that this was a great fit for our community and our park," Miller says. "They'll be joining four other life science firms that already are committed either to taking spots in the innovation center or to building their own facilities in the park."

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced CTS' decision to move to Kalamazoo last week after successfully negotiating with the company and working with Kalamazoo economic development officials to put together a tax incentive package to seal the deal. MEDC provided a tax credit worth up to $1.1 million over the next 10 years.

The city of Kalamazoo also has proposed a tax abatement package valued at $1.1 million, while Kalamazoo's Southwest Michigan First, an economic development agency, will provide a forgivable loan of $150,000 and a grant of up to $25,000 for facility, temporary location and relocation costs.

Other life sciences firms that are part of the BTR development are: Richard-Allan Scientific Inc., a medical devices firm now completing its own 120,000-square-foot building; Esperion Therapeutics, an Ann Arbor-based biopharmaceutical firm that is locating in the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center; and Chicago-based NephRx Corp., a biotechnology firm specializing in kidney disease that also has committed to the innovation center. In addition, NanoMed Pharmaceuticals of Lexington, Ky., has publicly announced its intention to locate in the innovation center. Details on that agreement are expected to be announced soon.

In addition to the life sciences, the BTR Park is attracting businesses that focus on advanced engineering and information technology.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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