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In the news

HEPACART triples its space for manufacturing in Merriam

Kansas City Business Journal - by James Dornbrook

Date: Monday, August 23, 2010, 12:00am CDT - Last Modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010, 2:38pm CDT

HEPACART Inc. has signed a three-year lease that will triple its manufacturing space.

The Shawnee-based company, which makes dust-containment devices for hospital construction projects, is moving from a 1,750-square-foot space at 9932 W. 62nd Terrace in Merriam to 5,200 square feet at 9823 W. 67th St., also in Merriam.

Terms of the lease were not disclosed, but Nathan Anderson, managing principal of Harbinger Property Group and broker for the landlord, said the space had been vacant since the fall.

"The amount of space on the market coupled with the length of vacancy allowed (HEPACART) to negotiate a favorable term," Anderson said.

Founder Herb Farnsworth said HEPACART would move in September.

The move comes two months after HEPACART signed a distribution contract with W.W. Grainger Inc., based in Lake Forest, Ill. Grainger supplies about 1,100 hospitals nationwide with maintenance, repair and operating products and had sales of $6.2 billion last year.

"As business grew and we got closer to closing the deal with Grainger, it became apparent we weren't going to be able to meet the demands in our existing site," Farnsworth said.

But the company has yet to see the full effects of the Grainger contract. Instead, Farnsworth said business is two and a half times last year's levels because of tougher enforcement of infection-prevention measures in hospitals.

HEPACART produces carts that capture dust during construction or renovation projects. Reducing levels of these contaminants can help hospitals maintain air quality and decrease infections.

Farnsworth said he expects business to grow significantly in coming years as a result of the larger manufacturing space, the Grainger contract, two new products announced in July and increased infection-prevention efforts.

The company is evaluating whether to hire more employees and buy manufacturing equipment or to continue to rely on subcontractors for assembly, he said.

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