March 22, 2006 in Business

HollisterStier to boost capacity

By The Spokesman-Review
 

At a glance

Company: HollisterStier Laboratories

Address: 3525 N. Regal, Spokane

Work force: 380 employees, 30 of whom have been hired this year

Ownership: Privately owned, founded in 1921

Spokane’s HollisterStier Laboratories LLC announced Tuesday it will invest $30 million to add a second vial-filling line and double its capacity for contract pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The privately held company already has about 380 workers and is projecting adding 40 to 50 workers each year for the next three years.

The key part of the expansion is the creation of a second filling facility in a 60,000-square-foot warehouse being converted to a production building.

It will increase the company’s filling speed from 300 vials per minute to 400 vials, said HollisterStier CEO Tony Bonanzino.

That added speed and capacity are crucial in helping gain new pharmaceutical contracts for HollisterStier, Bonanzino said.

About $16 million of the expansion will be for the fill line; the rest will be for new offices and quality assurance laboratories in the company’s main building.

While there may have been potential tax advantages in expanding away from the current facility in northeast Spokane, the final decision came down to practical benefits, Bonanzino said.

“The reason we stayed where we are is simply logistics,” he said.

Construction on the laboratories and office building will begin this fall and is expected to be finished by May 2007. Construction of the second filling line will begin in the fourth quarter of 2006 with production not starting until 2008.

The expansion will leave HollisterStier with a total of 185,000 square feet of production space, labs and offices.

Beyond increasing the filling speed, the new filling line will handle products ranging from as small as 2 milliliters per vial to 100 milliliters per vial, Bonanzino said.

Bonanzino said the expansion is the largest in the company’s history and underlines plans to concentrate on contract manufacturing.

The company has added about 30 new workers in the past three months, he said.


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