- 1 of 5 Photos | View More Photos
Hudson ForTec Medical, a national surgical laser company for medical and surgical equipment leasing, May 11 broke ground on Hudson Crossing on the 9.6 acre parcel for a 69,300 square-foot building for its national headquarters.
Kevin Callahan, VP of Premier Development Partners, said four of the properties in Hudson Crossing are being developed with negotiations for the three available lots. Since 2011, Meyer Distributing Co., a 62,000 square-foot building, was the sole business. Currently under construction are Goldfish Swim School in part of a 21,600-square-foot building facing state Route 303; a 125,000-square-foot building for commercial/industry; Mental Health Partners, a 13,250-square-foot medical facility for elderly psychiatric care; and ForTec Medical.
Long-time Hudson residents Drew and Nancy Forhan started ForTec Medical in 1988 with one truck and one laser. They saw a need for a new model providing hospitals and physicians with access to surgical technologies that was simpler and less expensive.
Drew said he was happy to return to Hudson.
"We started in 1988 on Ravenna Street in a duplex," Drew said. "We've moved four times since. We're delighted to be here, back home and part of Hudson as a community."
Active in the Hudson community, Drew heads up the Hudson Community Foundation and Nancy served on the Board of the Hudson Heritage Association.
"This is a proud day for ForTec," said CEO John Voyzey. "We're proud of our past, future and potential."
The past includes the entrepreneurial story of Drew and Nancy starting a business in a duplex in Hudson and growing to 350 employees nationwide, Voyzey said.
"What we do every day is incredible," Voyzey said. "Our mission is to improve health and healthcare by mobilizing innovative surgical technologies on demand."
ForTec helps 60,000 patients in surgeries at 2,000 hospitals nationwide, Voyzey said. The company doesn't know about 20,000 of those surgeries until the day before.
"Our potential just went up today as we become part of the Hudson community," Voyzey said.
Instead of expanding its current facility in Streetsoboro, the Forhans moved ForTec to Hudson with a newly designed building.
"Supporting our growth aspirations will require the retention of our current team along with the attraction of new talent," Drew said. "Designing a headquarters from the ground up in Hudson will allow us to meet the customized needs of the ForTec team for years to come.
The new building construction is estimated at $6 million and will bring 133 new full and part-time jobs with a $9.35 million payroll to the city. Initially 83 jobs will begin right away with additional employees added over a five-year period.
Architect Jeff Certo said the building garage will be toward the street for vehicles to make delivers, but the office space, including conference room, cafe and an exterior patio, will overlook the nature preserve where bald eagles can be seen.
The project would be constructed by Wellman Real Estate LLC and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
"We are excited to have a market leader such as ForTec in Hudson," said Jim Stifler, Hudson Economic Development Director. "Not only will the company bring high-paying healthcare technology jobs to Hudson, but the founders' ongoing commitment to our city makes ForTec an excellent addition to our business community."
Hudson City Council and Hudson School Board approved a 15-year 100 percent Community Reinvestment Area tax incentive for the $6 million building.
The School District will be compensated annually by ForTec with 25 percent of the additional real estate taxes generated from improvements.
In addition the city and schools will share equally in new revenue generated by income tax collected from the employees of ForTec minus the school's share of income tax for Community Learning Centers.
The 25 percent is estimated to be $25,000 a year along with the additional new revenue of $59,000, according to District Treasurer Kathryn Sines.
Mayor David Basil said ForTec was an entrepreneurial success.
"Like many in Hudson, you've had a long and deep commitment to our community," Basil said. "It's heartwarming that when ForTec needed a new location, they came to Hudson. We appreciate it."
City manager Jane Howington, Council President Hal DeSaussure, Council members William Wooldredge, Casey Weinstein, and Beth Bigham as well as Hudson City School District Superintendent Phil Herman attended the ground-breaking ceremony.