A biotech company from Woodland has decided to pull up its stakes and move to Davis. In fact, it has already broken ground on the city’s east side.
Expressions Systems, LLC, which cultivates and manufactures cell culture media to sell to the pharmaceutical industry, has begun construction on a two-floor, 27,484-square-foot laboratory at 603 Cantrill Drive just off of Second Street near 2nd Street Storage.
The company produces “liquid cell cultures” and packages them into nontoxic plastic bottles via a bottling machine. Then, they box and store the products in a temperature-controlled warehouse until the cells are shipped to customers, who use them for research and development.
According to David Hedin, president of Expression Systems and a Davis resident, its current building — situated in an industrial area in the northeast corner of Woodland, at 26 Harter Ave., Suite 2 — is no longer sufficient for the company’s operations.
“Our customers are more comfortable with vendors who have facilities suited for this type of work,” Hedin said. “Our layout now is kind of hodge-podge; (the new building) gives us the opportunity from the get-go to design what we want.”
Hedin hopes construction will finish by early to mid-summer. His company, which he founded in 1997, has operated out of its current building for the past seven years.
Expression Systems will occupy the bottom floor of the new building and the company plans to make lab space available for rent on the top floor.
“We have no official ties to university but what we’d like to do is have a strong relationship with UCD,” Hedin said. “Part of the reason for the new building is to provide incubator space for professors and scientists to be able to move their work and research off campus.”
According to the city of Davis, the company would employ a staff of eight, with the potential for 20 employees within a few years if the business grows as anticipated.
The top of the roofline will sit 33 feet from the ground. The lab also will feature a parapet on the southeast side at a proposed height of 39 feet.
“The building entrance would be highlighted with recessed metal front entry, louvered wood system at storefront, and metal canopy above a double door entry,” city planner Cathy Camacho said in an email.
“Exterior paint colors would be a palette of medium to dark brown hues. A complementary paint color would be used on the front building elevation to identify and distinguish the entrance.”
Key features of the project include:
* Brazilian hardwood, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, providing shade louver system detail at the front building entry;
* Potential installation of solar panels for on-site renewable energy;
* Innovative water technologies including a means to capture rainwater and recycle greywater for sewage conveyance; and
* Indoor environmental quality performance, including use of low-emitting materials such as paint, flooring system, carpets, adhesive and sealants.
_ Reach Tom Sakash at email@example.com or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash