Phenix Research Products of Hayward, Ca., has decided to build both a new corporate headquarters and East Coast distribution center in Asheville.

The company will locate its facilities at the Biotechnology Incubation and Training Center on the Enka Campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Some 45 jobs are expected to be created over the next two years, according to the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, which announced the relocation.

“We chose Asheville over other locations for several reasons, including its central location to our East Coast customer bases we well as this incredible biotech facility at the A-B Tech Enka Campus,” said Greg Schultz, president and chief executive officer of the firm, in a statement. “We were also impressed with the proactive approach economic development officials took to get us here.”

Phenix has supplied a variety of lab instruments for more than a decade.

“Phenix Research Products is the anchor tenant we’ve been looking for to kick-start the entire Western North Carolina biotechnology effort,” said David Young, chairman of the Buncombe County Economic Development Commission, in a statement. “Their presence here will only aid in getting other biotech companies to locate in our area.”

The economic development commission, the community college, the area chamber of commence, the city of Asheville, Buncombe County, NC department of Commerce, the NC Biotechnology Center and the AdvantageWest economic partnership all participated in the recruitment efforts.

Jim Roberts, executive director of the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council and the Blue Ridge Angel Investors Network, tells Local Tech Wire the move is important for western North Carolina.

“I think it is exciting as it follows one of my favorite theories for entrepreneurs of selling picks to the miners. Levi Strauss was one of the wealthiest people of the gold rush days because he sold things miners needed. If biotech is the next gold rush, these guys are selling materials biotech companies are going to need,” Roberts said. “Just like Cisco did with the Internet, they sell plumbing for the Internet according to their ads.

“I think the area will have several biotech, technology and funding announcements to make in the near future and we will continue to impress around the state and region.”

Advantage West: www.awnc.org
Asheville Area Chamber: www.ashevillechamber.org