NEWPORT CITY – The medical field apparently has its eyes on Newport in a big way.
First, AnC Bio has plans to open a research facility in the former Bogner Plant. On Friday, a separate company, Numia Medical Technology of Lyndonville, purchased the former Vermont Teddy Bear Factory on Farrant Street from Bob Miller for an undisclosed amount of money.
Numia Medical designs and manufactures drug infusion devices that deliver critical medications to human patients. The company primarily supplies to hospitals and other medical device companies. Numia Medical President Eric Flachbart said there are only a half dozen companies in the world that manufacture such products and his is the smallest. Numia Medical does not have any local clients, which Flachbart hopes will change.
Flachbart plans to be up and running at the Newport facility by late this year or early next year. The time between now and then will be spent retrofitting the building, which includes dividing it up for office space and also installing new flooring.
Flachbart, who recently purchased a home near the property, plans to have his firm in Newport for at least 10 years. He stressed his move has nothing to do with anything AnC Bio is working on.
Numia Medical opened in 2005 and has been growing ever since, which required three moves in the past few years.
“We keep on running out of space,” said Flachbart. “I figured here we have two buildings. If we run out of space in one, we can take the second.”
Flachbart is in talks with other companies about renting space. He did not say which companies, but indicated at least one clothing manufacturer.
Having new tenants in buildings that have been vacant for at least two years is good news in terms of jobs. Mayor Paul Monette said it is great to have tenants in the buildings and have a business coming to Newport, especially in the medical field. Monette thinks Newport will become a hub for medical research companies. He also said that Newport welcomes Numia Medical with open arms.
“It will bring in high paying jobs to the area plus other types of jobs,” Monette said.
Numia Medical currently has 25 employees, including engineers, scientists and assemblers. In the future, Flachbart has plans to hire even more employees.
“Eric came to us and sat with (City Manager) John Ward and me and we talked about what we could do to help them come to Newport,” said Monette. “It shows we are open for business and the council and city are willing to work with any new business or existing business that wants to relocate here.”
Ward said the purchase of the property is important for the city. “We’re going to have more jobs,” said Ward, who stressed there are other buildings ready to be occupied. “We ‘re ready for growth. We’re waiting and the city council is ready to help where we can.”
Tom Robinson, vice-president of commercial banking at Passumpsic Savings Bank, called the facility fantastic and said it will bring employment to Newport. He called Flachbart a good businessman.
Flachbart hopes Numia Medical will entice other companies to move to the area.
Robinson also credited Peter Bendoris from the Vermont Economic Development Authority for helping the company secure a $412,000 loan towards the purchase of the property.