Tate Technology plans to expand into larger space in Valley
Move also makes way for north-south freeway projectNovember 8th, 2018
Spokane-based electronics manufacturer Tate Technology Inc. plans to relocate to larger quarters in Spokane Valley to accommodate the company’s growth—and also to make way for the North Spokane Corridor freeway project, says company President Scott Tate.
The company plans to move next spring or early summer to an 18,000-square-foot building at 5716 E. Sprague that a Tate affiliate recently purchased for $1.5 million, Tate says. The company will occupy at least 16,000 square feet of space, he says, and the balance will be made available for lease.
The building was formerly occupied by office furniture store Great Spaces, Tate says.
Tate Technology currently occupies 10,500 square feet of space in a building at 3102 E. Trent. Tate says he’s known for more than 15 years that the current location is in the path of the long-planned North Spokane Corridor.
The Washington state Department of Transportation served an eminent domain notice earlier this year informing Tate that the department intends to acquire the property as part of the freeway project.
Beth Bousley, WSDOT Eastern Region spokeswoman, confirmed the agency has started negotiations for the property, but declines further comment.
As of Nov. 5, the department has 20 commercial and 42 residential parcels of land left to acquire before it can complete construction of the south half of the 10-mile corridor, Bousley says.
Tate affiliate JBH Holdings LLC acquired the Sprague property in west Spokane Valley in September for $1.5 million from Coeur d’Alene-based CCM Investments LLC, Tate says.
Justin Folkins, of RenCorp Realty, handled the transaction.
Although Tate Technology is moving in part because of the freeway project, Tate says the growing company already needs more space.
“If WSDOT wasn’t going to take the building, then we were going to have to remodel (it) anyway,” he says.
As of last week, the company had 41 employees, up from about 32 earlier this year, and is still hiring, he says. He declines to disclose the company’s annual revenue except to say that it has increased about 10 percent annually since 2016.
Because Tate Technology is seeing rising expenses due to the recent and upcoming annual minimum wage increases, Tate says he didn’t plan to hire more employees initially. He planned instead to increase production through automation via high-grade equipment the company purchased two years ago.
With that investment, Tate Technology can manufacture much smaller electronics than it previously could, and it can make more intricate pieces in minutes compared to days, Tate claims. For example, the company built tags for fish that were just 1/8th an inch long and 1/8th an inch wide.
After the new equipment was purchased, Tate Technology took on more jobs during a thriving economy, which necessitated that the company increase its workforce.
“We’re in a niche that requires skilled human labor to complete the product or be a key part of producing that product,” he says.