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BLOOMFIELD — Bloomfield's new industrial park along U.S. Highway 550 north of downtown has secured three more tenants.

The Pyramid Corporation, the 4Rivers Equipment Company and the Precision Fitting and Gauge Company have purchased parcels in the Animas Business Park in the last year, according to Tim Cummins, co-owner of Rio Real Estate Investment, the Albuquerque-based park developer.

Last year, the Wagner Equipment Company, which sells and rents the Caterpillar line of heavy equipment and engines, broke ground on a 20-acre portion of the park. Wagner was the first to purchase approximately 100,000 square feet, or about 20 acres, at the park.

The increased occupancy at the park is a boon to the city and San Juan County, Cummins said.

"It is going to be a huge boost to the city's revenues," Cummins said. "Wagner came in, and that's an economic engine for a community to create construction jobs and confidence that a company believes in the area. It's great for Bloomfield and the county."

He praised the city, especially Mayor Scott Eckstein, for a making the venture possible.

"Bloomfield has been as cooperative (as) anybody we've ever worked with because they recognize the value of increased employment and greater (gross receipts tax revenue), the base of what drives the local economy," Cummins said. "I can't give Bloomfield, especially Scott, enough credit for having the understanding and the willingness to go forward. We have done economic development transactions around the state, and if you don't have anything in your wagon to sell, you don't have anything to sell. This park has it."

The Precision Fitting and Gauge Company, which is currently located at 2010 N. First St. in Bloomfield, bought 1.5 acres in the park last summer, Cummins said.

This year, 4 Rivers Equipment bought a 7-acre lot there. The company, which sells John Deere equipment, is currently located next to Wagner in Farmington and will build a new building next to Wagner in the park.

Pyramid Instrumentation, currently located in Aztec and Durango, Colo., bought 3 acres in the park earlier this year.

Cummins said there are five lots, or 38 acres, still available for purchase in the park. He said that each could still be subdivided further, if needed.

So far, only Wagner has begun construction at the park. Two buildings that will house parts, services, rental and sales operations are currently being erected. Plans call for the business to be open by next year, according to Chad Nielsen, Wagner Equipment's marketing manager.

Wagner will move its more than 100 employees from the Farmington facility to Bloomfield when construction is complete. More workers might be hired if the need arises after it reopens at the park, he said.

Nielsen said construction began earlier this year, but the delay in getting started on the buildings was not related to the fall in oil prices last fall, he said.

"Oil and gas prices do affect our business, but the recent slowdown in these industries has not had an effect on our project," Nielsen said.

The city has been looking for tenants for the industrial park for the past eight years, and Eckstein said the private-public partnership that made the park possible will spell increased revenue and economic growth in Bloomfield.

The park started when the city negotiated the sale of roughly 80 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management. The same day, the city sold the park to Cummins' development company. The hope was to secure large or high-profile companies to the area and boost the local economy, Eckstein said.

"We think it's a perfect public-private relationship," Eckstein said. "Now we can see that vision was one that we could accomplish. It wasn't a dream. It was visionary on the city's part."

Eckstein said that the addition of businesses to the park should serve as inspiration for other businesses or people who own property a business could purchase or lease.

"I think this spells good news for other businesses or (for) hopefully more growth and more sales of vacant property in Bloomfield," he said. "We'll work with anybody. You don't have to be high profile or industrial. Tell us what you need, and we'll work with you."

Eckstein said the increased gross receipts tax revenue the growing industrial park represents will mean more money in the city's coffers to spend on important projects that the community deserves.

"It means more infrastructure, greater emergency services and quality-of-life projects like parks," he said. "That was the main idea behind the industrial park. It's also great to have partners in our community."

One of those is Precision Fitting and Gauge, which has been in Bloomfield at its North First Street location for about 10 years. The company has plans to expand, including hiring new employees, according to Christian McDonald, regional sales manager for the Tulsa, Okla.-based company.

"In this market, you have to be visible in this economy, and we wanted to get on the highway," McDonald said. "It wasn't the cheapest lot, but it was well worth the money. It's a great industrial area for us. It's a much better location for us. We service the refineries and work with the trucking industry, so we've positioned ourselves very nicely in the middle of it all. We're still in Bloomfield right where we want to be."

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621 and jfenton@daily-times.com. Follow him @fentondt on Twitter.

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