By Cameron Rasmusson
The former Coldwater Creek campus will soon provide respirator manufacturer Percussionaire the space it needs to grow.
Founded by legendary inventor Dr. Forrest M. Bird, Percussionaire officials anticipate dramatic expansion in the near future. According to Percussionaire CEO Mark Baillie, a move from its existing Sagle headquarters to 40,000 square feet of office, manufacturing and distribution space at the Sandpoint Technology Center—a portion of the former Coldwater Creek campus—will provide enough space and flexibility to usher in the company’s next chapter.
“Forrest Bird had a mission,” Baillie said. “He wanted to bring his technology—the best technology ever invented of its kind, and it still is to this day—to every person possible. This is an opportunity to continue his legacy.”
According to Baillie, the growth expectations come from a shift toward respirator products intended for use by a single patient. The upshot of the transition is dramatically increased revenue, and that means that the company, which currently employs around 50 individuals, will need to expand its workforce. Even as the company adjusts its business model, Baillie said Percussionaire’s focus is still on distributing the life-saving medical respirator technology pioneered by Bird.
The Sandpoint Technology Center proved the perfect location for that effort. Not only does it give Percussionaire the flexibility to put up walls or lease more space depending on the speed of its growth, it also provides a much more convenient location for prospective new employees. The company’s current headquarters, located deep in Sagle near the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center, requires a lengthy drive down roads that can be treacherous in wintertime.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for people in Sandpoint to get to work for us, where in the past we were 20 miles down a nasty road near the lake,” Baillie said.
The new location also provides superior infrastructure, with better roads, more stable power and access to superior technological and internet services. It opens the door for a complete reimagining of Percussionaire’s business culture, and Baillie said a new logo, website and look for the company will accompany the move, which is hoped to be complete by the end of the summer.
The move is slated to bring yet more life to the former Coldwater Creek campus following the clothing company’s bankruptcy in 2014. Since then, Litehouse Foods has occupied a large portion of the campus for its headquarters, while another portion was acquired by investment group L3M, of which Patrick Properties is a part.
“We’re just ecstatic to have Percussionaire move into Sandpoint Technology Center,” said Michelle Sivertson, vice president of operations at Patrick Properties.
“Dr. Bird certainly has left his mark, not only in Idaho but on the world,” she added. “To be able to house a world-renowned company that makes a device that has saved so many lives is a real honor.”
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