City of Vancouver welcomes Banfield Pet Hospital’s corporate headquarters

Press Release Date:
Friday, April 11, 2014

Major corporate relocation to bring employees, jobs and business vitality to Vancouver's east side next year 
 

The City of Vancouver is excited to welcome Banfield Pet Hospital’s corporate headquarters to Vancouver.

The City worked with its economic development partners – Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC,)  Greater Portland Inc., the Washington Department of Commerce, Washington State University Vancouver, Clark College, and SW Washington Workforce Development Council - to keep this important employer in the Vancouver/Portland region.

“Banfield is a great fit for this community, and their recent announcement speaks volumes about the many positive qualities of Vancouver that make it an attractive place for employers to grow their businesses and for their employees to live,” said Chad Eiken, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Vancouver.

Banfield, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, is the largest privately-owned veterinary practice in the United States with more than 800 clinics. Banfield plans to move its corporate headquarters 10 miles north of its current east Portland site, across the river, to east Vancouver. The site is in the Columbia Tech Center (CTC) near Mill Plain and 192nd Ave., adjacent to Clark College’s east CTC campus.
 

Banfield plans to expand from a 152,575 sq. ft. facility to a new 230,000 sq. ft. campus and to add employees over time. New buildings will be added with an estimated construction value of $36 million. Banfield’s total capital investment will be $48- $67 million in real property and $10 - $14 million in personal property.
 

“We are extremely pleased that Banfield has selected Vancouver as its future home base, which will allow this important employer to expand while remaining in the metro area,” Eiken continued. “This was a team effort in the best sense of the word, and CREDC did an incredible job of ‘quarterbacking’ this recruitment in working with the City, the state, and other community partners.

“While there is more work to be done to finalize commitments on both sides, I’ve been very impressed by the collaborative approach that the Banfield executives have taken to ensure that there are mutual benefits to both the company and the community through this relocation,” Eiken said.


Proposed business incentives to be discussed with Vancouver City Council May 12
 

Public meetings to review the project and discuss possible incentives will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 12 at a Vancouver City Council workshop.  The public can attend this meeting at City Hall or watch it online at www.cvtv.org – or CVTV cable channel 23.

Banfield will relocate over 500 employees to the new Vancouver headquarters and increase
staffing by the end of 2015. Further staff expansion to 670 is planned in the short term, to approximately 950 employees in the long term. Many of Banfield’s associates currently live in Washington. Banfield offers high paying jobs at its corporate headquarters – significantly higher than the average salary of Vancouver residents.

Banfield said Vancouver was a good fit because they can expand now and have plenty of room to grow their HQ over time, allowing them to reinvest in the pet hospital expansions. Vancouver is known for its excellent school systems for residents. The new corporate HQ will be within walking distance to Vancouver’s east side restaurants and retail stores for Banfield employees.

This new Banfield location is also located in a great place to live – a safe, suburban environment. Vancouver’s modern east side has a mix of quality housing, public amenities and suburbs with developed communities that are built around neighborhood parks.


Next Steps – the public review process
 

Now that Banfield Pet Hospital has decided to relocate to Vancouver, City staff will present relocation incentive options to Vancouver City Council for consideration in an open public process this spring.

  • After the May 12 Vancouver City Council public workshop, two additional City Council meetings this spring will discuss proposed ordinance changes and a formal development agreement and allow the public to give feedback before the agreement in finalized.
     
  • There will be no cash payments to Banfield Pet Hospital from the City of Vancouver’s general fund. 
     
  • Any proposals requiring subsidies will be reviewed by the City Council after confirming that they meet economic development policies and local employment goals.
     
Proposed incentives from the City to Banfield:
 

A initial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and Banfield outlines the proposed project and initial discussions about possible incentives. The MOU is not a contract but rather a statement of intent and a list of ideas for the City to review, discuss and decide upon in upcoming months.

Some of the proposed incentives will involve changes to local ordinances, which Vancouver City Council would need to approve. All proposals that City staff will ask the City Council to consider for Banfield are allowed by state and federal law.

MOU highlights for upcoming Council consideration include:

  • The City proposes building a one-acre public off-leash dog park open to the public next to the new Banfield facility (est. cost  $150,000)
     
  • Waive the City’s $20,000 annual employee surcharge over a five-year period. This would involve a change to City ordinance and would create an incentive for any other company that meets similar job creation thresholds. Any future waivers would be tied to Banfield’s local employment growth.
     
  • The City will consider a possible 50% discount of Traffic Impact Fees up to a maximum of $200,000. This involves changing a City ordinance to create an incentive for other companies that meet similar local job creation thresholds.
     
  • If Banfield wants to request a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) loan (a federal grant, not City funds), the City would support the application and the loan would be repaid by Banfield. The grant requested may be up to $500,000, and the City could convert 25% ($125,000) into a grant if local job creation targets are met.
     
  • Renaming of a non-arterial City street nearby

Other incentives offered to Banfield but which do not require Council action included:

  • Cap of the value of the Banfield building at $3 million for purposes of determining building permit fees (value approximately $300,000)
     
  • Temporary deferral of approximately $66,000 in Sewer System Development Charges using the City’s System Development  Surcharge program.
     
  • Work with the Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium to gauge interest in the creation of a new child care center near the project.
     

About Vancouver’s Community and Economic Development work
 

The City of Vancouver offers Economic Development as a core community service, to enhance our local economy and help facilitate job opportunities for its citizens. The City prides itself on its pro-business focus for business licensing and building permitting.

The City’s multi-disciplinary project team  from a variety of departments work with Banfield to ensure timelines and public notification requirements are met. The City’s award-winning streamlined review process for land use, engineering, and building permits would help Banfield navigate the development process.

Washington is a conservative tax state and Vancouver offers a lower cost of living and less expensive utilities than other communities. Vancouver was also named one of the Top 100 Most Livable Communities – 2014 by Livability.com. A high quality of life, offering a great place to live, work and recreate continues to be a strong factor in attracting employers to Vancouver, WA.


Columbian story:

Vancouver lands Banfield Pet Hospital HQ
Company to employ 600 at Columbia Tech Center site

Read the full Columbian story here


Economic Development: the City of Vancouver and our Partners

Learn more about local economic development efforts - local organizations that work together to recruit new businesses or help businesses to grow in Vancouver.

These partners collaborated on this project:

Banfield, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, is the largest privately-owned veterinary practice in the US with more than 800 clinics