Present at the Grifols groundbreaking, left to right: State Senator Jeff Wentworth, Grifols U.S. Pperations President Gregory Rich, Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade, San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, Grifols SA President and CEO Victor Grifols, Hays County Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, Immune Deficiency Foundation Director of Education and Volunteer Programs Kathy Antilla, Former U.S. Ambassador to Spain Eduardo Aguirre, H.E. Consul General of Spain Miguel Angel F. de Mazarambroz. Photo by Don Anders.
By SEAN BATURA
Construction of a Grifols plasma research and testing facility began last Friday at River Ridge Business Park in San Marcos, with state and local officials presiding.
It is expected that the facility will open in about a year. Workers at the 72,000 square-foot facility will test and process human blood plasma, from which they will produce the initial components of products for use in the treatment shock, trauma and burns, primary immune deficiency diseases, and bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease.
“The City of San Marcos is proud to have helped bring the first local health care manufacturing facility of this type to the state of Texas,” said San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz. “This project represents a significant partnership with Grifols, the city, the State of Texas, and Hays County.”
The city will refund Grifols, a Spain-based company, $1.8 million in personal property taxes in the next 15 years. The county will refund $2.1 million in personal property taxes to Grifols during the same period.
Narvaiz said Grifols will invest “some $76 million” in its San Marcos facility and bring 190 jobs to the city. Texas Governor Rick Perry announced in July that the state will invest $500,000 in Enterprise Institute Fund money in the Grifols facility.
“The (Grifols) CEO also acknowledged that there really are going to be more than 190 full-time positions and that the (total funds) they are investing is actually going to be more than $76 million,” said Hays County Commissioner Precinct 1 (D-San Marcos) Debbie Ingalsbe.
Grifols is expected to pay an average salary of $38,571. Median household income in the city during the last US census was $25,809.
“It’s just going to be a great opportunity for…our region to have those types of jobs, with the great salaries and benefits that will come,” said Ingalsbe. “With (Texas State) university here, that’s just a great opportunity for a great partnership there, and for students to have a place where they can come in and have a good job….”
Grifols Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Christopher Healey said there is no formal relationship between his company and Texas State University at this time.
“We don’t have anything firm just now … but I can certainly foresee some kind of mutually-beneficial working relationship in the future,” Healey said.
The blood plasma will arrive at the San Marcos Grifols facility from plasma donation centers, of which the company owns and operates 17 in Texas. Healey said the Grifols owns and operates 80 plasma donation centers across the country, the closest of which is in San Antonio.
Healey said his company expects local residents to receive many of the jobs that will be created by the facility.
“We’ll be advertising locally and doing job placement locally — as we currently do, as a matter of fact,” Healey said.Email | Print