SparkFun Electronics could mark a couple milestones next year.
Boulder-based SparkFun not only will mark its 10th anniversary in 2013, but the supplier of electronics parts and kits also could move into expansive new digs.
Nathan Seidle, the founder and CEO of SparkFun, is in the process of buying an undeveloped property just north of Highway 52 in the Boulder Tech Center. Plans for the 4.31-acre site call for a two-story, 80,000-square-foot building for SparkFun's headquarters.
The new site is located just outside the Boulder city limits.
The new property will provide some breathing room for SparkFun, which is coming close to outgrowing its home at 6175 Longbow Drive. After a couple years of double- and triple-digit sales growth, the firm that once occupied a quarter of the Gunbarrel property now fills the entire 52,000-square-foot building.
"We are running out of room," Seidle said. "We haven't run out of room yet. We know in the next 12 months, it's going to get pretty tight."
SparkFun's new headquarters, at 6333 W. Dry Creek Parkway, will be built-to-suit and developed to serve the company's needs now and offer flexibility for the future, he said.
In addition to office and warehouse space, the site will house a video room and a classroom and will allow SparkFun to expand offerings such as its web tutorials and education.
SparkFun recently launched learn.sparkfun.com and a team -- led by employee Lindsay Levkoff -- developed relationships with educators across the country to incorporate the company's electronic kits and curriculum. Several higher education, vocational and K-12 schools have adopted SparkFun's hands-on learning approach, SparkFun officials say.
The company also is nearing the end of a Kickstarter campaign to allow for an educational tour across the country. As of Friday, the company had just over $49,000 pledged toward its goal of $150,000 on the campaign that is set to expire on Wednesday.
That same day, Boulder County's Planning Commission will consider the proposal for SparkFun's new headquarters in addition to plans to subdivide the 7-acre property at 6333 W. Dry Creek Parkway into two parcels of 4.31 acres and 2.69 acres.
SparkFun reached an agreement with property owners JEKA Investments and MMU -- a firm that Seidle said acquired the 7 acres from JEKA -- to purchase a 50 percent interest in the 7 acres.
Once the subdivision occurs, Seidle's limited liability company Flywheel Industries will conduct a land trade to obtain the 4.31-acre parcel. Under the agreement, Flywheel Industries will pay $1.46 million for SparkFun's eventual new home, Seidle said.
Last week, Flywheel closed on a portion of the property, paying nearly $1.07 million to JEKA Investments LLC, according to Boulder County property records.
SparkFun also has the right of first refusal on the 2.69 acres owned by MMU, Seidle said, noting the firm could elect to expand on the neighboring property in the future. A total of 129,000 square feet is permitted on the 7-acre property, according to documents filed with Boulder County.
"It's very exciting to get the closing docs in place because it's been seven months of deliberations and talking," Seidle said. " ... This is where the reality sets in, we're pretty excited."
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