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As one manufacturer opens $15M Pasco facility, another closes

A Colorado compound pharmacy opened in Pasco County spec space days after a Dade City bottler announced it was closing.

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 11:45 a.m. June 10, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Asturia Corporate Center, a 235,000-square-foot flex-industrial, is one of several spec projects in the county using loans from money generated from Penny for Pasco.
Asturia Corporate Center, a 235,000-square-foot flex-industrial, is one of several spec projects in the county using loans from money generated from Penny for Pasco.
Courtesy photo
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Belmar Pharma Solutions, a Colorado-based compounding pharmacy, has opened a facility in Pasco County and will add 150 jobs in the next three years.

The good news for the county was tempered by the announcement late last week that global bottler and distributor Refresco was shutting its Dade City plant and laying off 42 employees.

As for Belmar, the 25,000-square-foot compounding facility is in the Asturia Corporate Center. According to the Pasco Economic Development Council, the company has invested $15 million in the building, where it will produce compounded medications and other products.

Belmar, founded in 1985 as a compounding pharmacy in Denver, is a national company which focuses on anti-aging and integrative therapies.

It has seven facilities in the U.S. and operates Belmar Pharmacy, Belmar Select Outsourcing, Green Mountain Pharmaceuticals, Belmar Research, Custom Rx Pharmacy, and Women’s International Pharmacy.

The company is on track to serve more than 500,000 this year with injectable, oral, and topical personalized medications according to a statement announcing the opening.

The Asturia Corporate Center, where Belmar has opened, is one of several spec projects in the county built using loans from money generated from Penny for Pasco funds.

The EDC says Pasco County Commissioners approved a 10-year, $7 million Penny for Pasco loan to Harrod Development in 2018 to build the $26 million, 235,000-square-foot flex-industrial center.

The news of Belmar’s expansion comes as the state and county learn that Refresco Beverages US Inc. is shutting down its operations in Dade City and laying off 42 workers.

Refresco notified officials last week in a letter that it was shuttering its plant at 15340 and 15311 Citrus County Dr.

In the letter, which was submitted to meet federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act requirements, the company says the employees last day will be Aug. 2. It left the possibility open that one or two would stay an additional couple of weeks to assist with closing the plant.

According to an email from a company spokesperson, the closing comes "after an extensive review of various factors regarding our manufacturing operations."

"Our priority remains the well-being and support of our employees during this transition," the email says. "We are providing comprehensive assistance and resources – including outplacement services – to the Dade City employees."

The spokesperson did not say if other facilities were being closed.

The company did not give a reason for the closure and did not respond to question about why it was shutting down in Pasco and if other facilities were closing.

Refresco Beverages US Inc. is a North American subsidiary of a Netherlands-based soft drink bottler and distributor.

The company, according to its website, currently employs 75,639 people and operates 75 facilities globally. Its U.S. headquarters is in Tampa and, according to its 2023 annual report, it still has plants in Tampa and Lakeland.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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