McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc. said on Thursday that it has begun development of a 30-acre mixed-use project on the west side of Interstate 25 in Loveland, which will be home to anchor tenant Agrium Inc. and its subsidiaries.
The project will include multiple office buildings, multifamily housing, retail and restaurant offerings, as well as a hotel. McWhinney, which has offices in Loveland and Denver, did not release any other details of the project. A spokeswoman at Loveland’s planning department on Thursday said McWhinney has yet to submit plans.
Agrium has about 400 employees in several buildings in Loveland, with many of those at Agrium’s Crop Production Services Inc.’s headquarters on Rocky Mountain Avenue in the Rangeview Office Campus, next to the site of the new 30-acre development.
Paul Poister, government relations manager for Agrium U.S., said Thursday the company will consolidate employees into the two buildings in Loveland and 300 more employees once the new building is completed. He said some of the 300 employees will be new hires and others will be moved from an office in south Denver.
In October, McWhinney bought back the building that it sold in 2010 to Crop Production Services Inc., the retail division of Canada-based Agrium Inc.
Loveland-based McWhinney, using the entity RVAA LLC, paid $20.6 million for the three-story, 81,664-square-foot office building at 3005 Rocky Mountain Ave. in the Rangeview Office Campus, according to public records. McWhinney built the building in 2009, and sold it to Crop Production Services for $15.1 million.
Agrium entered a long-term lease to remain in that building, and Poister said Agrium will lease the new building from McWhinney.
Agrium Inc., a producer and distributor of agricultural products, is building an 18,000-square-foot facility in the West Greeley Tech Center for researching and testing new fertilizer products.
The Agrium Wholesale Lab and Pilot Plant will consist of two parts.
The first part will be a research laboratory to develop the design and delivery of agricultural crop inputs — which are any substance used for pest control or for soil-fertility management. Agrium Wholesale will be focusing on polymer coated fertilizers with controlled release characteristics.
The second part is referred to as a pilot-scale research facility. The plant will be used to assist in the scale up of new innovations from laboratory research to better understand the challenges of ramping up the volume of production, and experiment with process changes that could be used in production plants elsewhere to improve quality, production rate and efficiency.
Poister said the research and development facility will employ about seven people at the outset, mostly those with doctorates, some moving to Greeley from the company’s temporary R&D facility in Alabama, and eventually grow to 12 employees.
Agrium Inc. produces, markets and distributes crop nutrients, crop-protection products, seeds and merchandise products primarily in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe and Australia. It operates in two segments, retail and wholesale. It reported revenue of $15.8 billion and income of $793 million in 2014.