August 2, 2018
NDC announces today a critical New Markets Tax Credit investment in Puerto Rico of $6.5 Million to convert a warehouse into a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant and laboratory. This investment will close a funding gap that has prevented Romark Laboratories (“Romark US Parent”) from completing the 40,000SF space, particularly after work in progress was damaged by Hurricane Maria.
Once completed, the new plant in Manati, PR will become home to several of Romark’s operations that are currently located around Puerto Rico and the US, as well as a Research and Development (R&D) laboratory currently located in Belgium. Job creation as a result of this investment include:
- – 86 Construction FTEs
- – The project management, architecture and construction firms are all minority-owned businesses. Romark estimates that over 90% of the workforce will be minority.
Job Creation & Training – Permanent
- – 136 Permanent FTEs – all manufacturing plant employees will be new employees
- – 5 Permanent FTEs – all employees at the laboratory are retained
- – Total payroll for Phase I manufacturing activities is expected to reach $10.5 million
- – Romark offers full benefits including health and dental care insurance, paid vacation, and a match for retirement savings
Romark has executed an agreement with a regional Workforce Investment Board (Consorcio del Norte Manati Dorado), which has received funds through the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, to help provide training in pharmaceutical manufacturing for under-skilled individuals.
Manati, population 39,641, is 38 miles west of San Juan. The median per capital income is $10,216 compared to Puerto Rico’s per income capita of $11,688. Almost half (46.8%) of the population lives below the poverty level. Manati’s economic history has been largely agricultural (pineapples and sugar cane), with shifts in the last 40 years to manufacturing as more pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers have opened plants in the City. Manati is home to a number of pharmaceutical manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Meyers Squib and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
The total project cost for the Phase I development is $54.8M. NDC’s Qualified Equity Investment ($6.5M) is joined by our partners Stonehenge Community Development ($4.5M), Mid-City Community ($9M), Empowerment Reinvestment Fund ($9M) and Capital One Community Renewal Fund ($2.5M).