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September 26, 2018

Vets First Choice gets approval for new HQ

Courtesy / Vets First Choice
Courtesy / Vets First Choice
Vets First Choice, a fast-growing provider of pharmacy services for animal care, on Tuesday received city approval for a planned 170,000-square-foot headquarters in Portland. The city's Planning Board OK'd a proposal for the facility at 12 Mountfort St., near the base of Munjoy Hill and about a half mile from the company's current headquarters at 7 Custom House St., Portland.
Courtesy / Vets First Choice
Leading the Vets First Choice headquarters project will be co-developers Bateman Partners and CBRE | The Boulos Co., architect David Lloyd and contractor AlliedCook Construction.

Vets First Choice, a fast-growing provider of pharmacy services for animal care, on Tuesday received city approval for a planned 170,000-square-foot headquarters in Portland.

The city's Planning Board OK'd a proposal for the facility at 12 Mountfort St., near the base of Munjoy Hill and about a half mile from the company's current headquarters at 7 Custom House St., Portland.

Construction costs were previously estimated at $20 million, of which $9 million will come from a grant awarded in February by the Maine Technology Institute.

Work on the project is expected to begin immediately and to comprise two phases, Vets First said in a news release. A pharmacy and fulfillment center are expected to be complete in October 2019; offices, labs and other space should be finished by April 2020.

The seven-story complex will support more than 1,500 employees and create "hundreds of new professional jobs for Maine residents," according to the release. The company currently employs about 800 people, and is undergoing a merger with the animal health business of Henry Schein Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), anticipated to be complete by early next year, the release said.

Vets First co-Founder and Chairman David Shaw said, "I've been a part of the Portland business community for the past 30 years and I've watched our great city evolve and grow. With this new building we're making it clear we plan to evolve and grow with the city."

Leading the project will be co-developers Bateman Partners and CBRE | The Boulos Co., architect David Lloyd and contractor AlliedCook Construction.

The headquarters is part of the transformation of the East End near the base of Munjoy Hill and the India Street corridor.

WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX), a payment-processing company now based in South Portland, broke ground a year ago on a 100,000-square-foot operations base on Thames Street, less than a block away. That project is expected to be complete in early 2019. The Vets First site is also a block from the recently completed headquarters of Tilson Technology.

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