A specialty pharmaceutical services company, started by two seasoned Louisville executives, will invest nearly $56.5 million to expand operations into Southern Indiana, with plans to eventually to grow to 850 workers.
PharmaCord, led by commercial real estate developer Jim Karp and health care veteran Nitin Sahney, revealed plans Monday to lease offices for 200 employees in the Gallery Building and build new offices nearby at River Ridge Commerce Center.
The industrial center is about 12 miles upriver from Louisville.
The company already has about 150 employees at two Louisville locations and expects to add at least 100 more by the end of the year at the River Ridge location. Nurses, pharmacists, case managers and people working in a call center will serve patients and doctors, on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Lee said in an interview.
The payroll is expected to increase to 850 people by 2023.
PharmaCord, with Karp as an investor and Sahney as chief executive and founder, launched in 2017 and now leases space in the Kaden Tower, which Karp previously owned.
You may like: Brown-Forman estimates $125 million in retaliatory tariffs for the year
The pharma business, which also has a second location in Louisville, had less than 20 employees at the start of 2017. It now needs more room as the company takes on new business, Lee said, adding that "we're just growing very rapidly."
Under the expansion, PharmaCord will lease the top two floors of the Gallery Building, at 101 Logistics Drive. A separate $40 million facility at 850 Trey St., also in the commerce center, will be built to handle the additional space needs.
The existing Gallery Building is part of a group of properties owned by Karp's America Place, which leases warehouses, distribution centers and other industrial properties.
“It was important to us to find an expansion site that would not only afford us the space to grow and fulfill our potential as a company, but also to expand our presence in the Louisville Metro area. River Ridge Commerce Center and America Place provided us with a world-class facility, while still being convenient and close to our existing offices in Louisville,” Sahney said in a statement released Monday afternoon by One Southern Indiana.
“I believe this new location will give us the space and ability to support future pharmaceutical client programs while creating more jobs in health care for the metro area. We are very excited about this decision and its implications for the continued growth of PharmaCord,” Sahney said.
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb added that “Indiana has quickly established itself as a global leader in life sciences, gaining national recognition and attracting new businesses from around the world. I’m confident that Indiana’s pro-business environment and talented workforce will allow the company to grow and thrive here as they work to deliver critical health care solutions.”
Pending approval from the Indiana Economic Develop Corp. board, the state is expected to offer PharmaCord up to $7.85 million in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans and up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits for capital investments.
Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore hailed PharmaCord’s expansion as a chance to add high-paying jobs to the community. "It's a big win for us," he said.
Lee, the company's CFO, declined to provide an average wage for future jobs, saying that salaries will vary among a range of positions and skills levels. All jobs are expected to pay at least 10% above the Clark County average of about $51,000 a year.
The Gallery Building contrasts dramatically with the rectangular industrial buildings nearby in River Ridge. The three-story structure features clear glass and white cubes and houses a ground-floor gallery of artwork collected by Karp and his wife.
The building opened two years ago and was designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast, who founded the New York and Los Angeles-based firm wHY Architecture. When he broke ground for the building, Karp said too many office buildings in the Louisville area are unattractive and unimaginative.