CASPER, Wyo. — A pharmaceutical company may become the “anchor tenant” of the Casper Area Business Innovation Center under construction on the site of the former Amoco refinery now known as the Platte River Commons, the project’s director said Wednesday.
The company will occupy the third floor of the center, DeAnna Adams told the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board at its monthly meeting. She declined to identify the company.
The company is still working on the lease, which will need approval from the joint powers board and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Adams said.
Even though she declined to identify the prospective tenant, she distributed copies of a draft of the lease.
Outgoing Chairman Scott Sissman said the joint powers board will need to talk to its attorney about the lease, restrictions on the use of the building and insurance issues.
New board member Ron Baugh asked about the language regarding pharmaceutical components.
Adams responded that the prospective tenant originally wanted offices but has since indicated that it would be working with pharmaceutical chemicals.
The center, she said, is 65 percent complete, and is nearly ready for equipment, furniture, work stations and a security system.
The $10.5 million project is a joint effort of the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance, the Amoco Reuse Agreement and the Economic Development joint powers boards, the federal Economic Development Administration, the Wyoming Business Council, local banks, Walmart, and the city and county.
The reuse agreement board was created in 1998 when Amoco — now BP — signed an agreement with Casper and the county to oversee the reuse of the property. The city and county appoint the board’s members.
The Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board receives no money from the city or the county. BP pledged more than $25 million toward replacing jobs that were lost when Amoco shut down the refinery in 1991.
In other business, the board approved spending up to $50,000 on the development of a strategic plan for downtown, in conjunction with the city of Casper.
The board depleted its economic development fund after the purchase of the former SourceGas property at its appraised value of $1.6 million. The lot is bordered by West Yellowstone Highway, South Walnut Street, South Spruce Street and Midwest Avenue, and includes the former Coca-Cola building. Two local businesses have offered $219,000 each for the approximately 70-year-old building, and that sale is imminent.
Sissman said the joint powers board can apply that revenue to economic development.
The board agreed to sell some of its property at the Salt Creek Heights Business Center to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
It accepted the resignation of board member Phil Schmidt, and elected new officers: Neil Benton, chairman; Bob Hopkins, vice chairman; Sissman, secretary; and Laura Angelo, treasurer.