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Harmony Tech Park booms with $80M in construction

Harmony Tech Park booms with $80M in construction. Science & Technology World Website

Construction continues on Harmony Technology Park at Harmony Road and Lady Moon Drive on Friday, October 21, 2016. 


For years, Joe Basta and Custom Blending were lonely occupants on a 105-acre wasteland.

The first company to take a chance on a newly formed technology park off Harmony Road in southeast Fort Collins, Custom Blending — now called Rodelle — sat alone through the park's early days and a corresponding national economic recession.

Acres of dirt and scrub brush belied the developer's 2008 promise of a vibrant commercial center just west of Interstate 25. Basta, Rodelle's president, saw Harmony Technology Park as the city's final frontier, the last remaining large tract of commercial and industrial space in Fort Collins, a site with easy access to shipping routes that would carry his company's products along Interstate 25 and beyond.

"We didn't really care that we were alone," Basta said. "The Rodelle family was just fine. I didn't mind that there was no dust flying around for the first several years."

Today, Basta washes his car a lot more frequently as Harmony Technology Park comes into its own as an employment center on land once owned by Hewlett-Packard in south Fort Collins.

"It's a very popular spot nowadays," Basta said.

Located near Intel, HP, Broadcom, a planned Comcast call center, and Banner Health's new hospital and medical center, Harmony Technology Park has about 40 of 105 acres still available. It is approved for up to 1.3 million square feet of office space.

The tech park is home to seven companies with a half-dozen others committed to the site and about $80 million in construction projects underway.

The park will be home to about 1,500 workers within a couple of years, said Josh Guernsey of Brinkman Partners, a Fort Collins development firm that moved its headquarters to the park two years ago and markets the property for Michigan-based owner MAVDevelopment.

MAVDevelopment broke ground on the 105-acre park in 2008 with Rodelle starting construction almost immediately. That same year, the city approved creation of its first property-tax supported metropolitan district to finance construction of public improvements such as streets, water systems and trails to support the technology park.

But then the economy tanked and development waned until three years ago, when Numerica announced it would move from Loveland to the park and Rodelle doubled its space.

Of the park's 105 acres, 65 acres are sold or under contract. Brinkman purchased 10 acres for a retail center featuring a brewpub, fitness center, four-story hotel, coffee shop and restaurant. A memory-care and assisted-living center, eye clinic and medical device manufacturer will soon dot the landscape, making Harmony Technology Park the most active business park in the city.

MAVDevelopment hopes to break ground next year on 5041 Technology Parkway, a sister building to 5042, which houses Prosci, Numerica, Persistent Systems and WilMarc Medical. It will leave two sites along Harmony Road and Technology Parkway open for future Class A office space, Guernsey said.

Guernsey isn't surprised build-out of the park has taken this long, "but I didn't think it would be as back-loaded as it has."

Basta said he welcomes the activity; it's the reason Rodelle bought a parcel just east of its existing building. "We were concerned about being landlocked for future expansion," he said. "We knew the activity was coming, it was just a matter of time."

Rodelle ships products all over North America "and access to I-25 was important to us as well. We were looking for a site where trucks wouldn't be overly disruptive and still had easy access to the facility. A mile from I-25 was suitable for us."

Those factors were also enough to draw WilMarc Medical to the site, said owner Marcia Coulson.

WilMarc leases office space at the technology park, but plans to build 90,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at Precision Drive and Technology Parkway.

"I like being located in a technology-driven area with HP and Intel ... it's a good location," Coulson said. "The ease of getting off I-25 and the ability to reach the facility off I-25 is a consideration for employees and customers."

Business research and training company Prosci moved to Harmony Technology Park from Loveland last year because "it gave us the convenience of the interstate, space for the company to grow and the image we were looking for," president Allison Seabeck said at the time.

And Brinkman, which works throughout the Front Range, built its headquarters there, in part, for easy access to the interstate, said Guernsey, who  predicted the park would be sold out south of Timberwood Drive — the bulk of the site — within two years.

Proximity to I-25 can save 20 to 25 minutes of drive time into the heart of Fort Collins or points farther west, he said.

Construction continues on Harmony Technology Park at Harmony Road and Lady Moon Drive on Friday, October 21, 2016. 


Harmony Tech Park booms with $80M in construction. Science & Technology World Website

Construction continues on Harmony Technology Park at Harmony Road and Lady Moon Drive on Friday, October 21, 2016.

 

At a glance: Harmony Technology Park

A look inside Harmony Technology Park, a 105-acre development southeast of the intersection of Harmony and Ziegler roads in Fort Colllins:

What's there?

Rodelle, manufacturer of Rodelle vanilla, chocolate and spices

Brinkman Partners, real estate and development company

US-Reports, auditing, risk and loss-control company

Prosci, business research and training company

Numerica, defense and intelligence technology company

Persistent Systems, software company

WilMarc Medical, manufacturer of PVC-free tubing and fittings for medical and restaurant industries

What's coming? 

WilMarc, planned 90,000-square-foot office, research and development and warehouse space

Main Street Health and Wellness, 100-bed skilled nursing/assisted living facility and rehab center

Eye Center of Northern Colorado, 28,000-square-foot medical office currently under construction

VistaPoint, memory care facility. Land sale closed Wednesday, with groundbreaking expected by end of the year

Harmony Commons: 10 under-construction acres owned by Brinkman that will include a hotel, brewpub, coffee shop, fitness center and more

Remaining space

22.4 acres bordered on the north by Timberwood Drive, on the south by Precision Drive, on the east by Lady Moon Drive and on the west by Technology Parkway

10 acres south of Intel, west of Technology Parkway and north of Precision Drive

8 acres east of Eye Center of Northern Colorado and south of Precision Drive 

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