Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - August 20, 2012

Nearly a  year ago LovelandPolitics reported that the new buyers of the former Agilent campus in Loveland,
Cumberland & Western, had no plans to include the city’s ‘ACE Project’ partner CAMT (Colorado Association for
Manufacturing Technology) in their development of the property.  see the
October 27, 2011 story.  Six months later
the City of Loveland finally acknowledged publicly that CAMT was out.  

When the Northern Colorado Business Review Editor, Allen Greenberg, reported last March on Loveland’s
announcement, he stated three times in that commentary,
Loveland, CAMT Divorce, “Oh. My. Goodness.”  

According to Greenberg, future tenants would likely go where CAMT and their NASA partner landed instead of the
City of Loveland.  Now largely defunct, CAMT was never really an industry association but instead a tiny non-profit
looking for relevance using an unfunded agreement with NASA to shake down unwitting municipalities.

LovelandPolitics exposed CAMT's plot in a
March of 2011 story that drew national attention.  Local news media
continued reporting on CAMT's phony ACE Project claim to have exclusive and unfettered access to NASA
technologies for commercialization by participating companies.  Such reporting became the laughing stock of
national NASA news blogs like     One comment on that blog frequented by current and former
NASA employees stated,  "
Anyone who says that they have exclusive access to NASA's most valuable technologies
simply does not know what they are talking about or are deliberately engaging in a gross misstatement of facts

A recent Loveland Reporter-Herald article titled, “
NASA Plans Reentry” continued the ongoing confusion
surrounding the former ACE Project by implying NASA was indeed a contributor - which it was not.   In that same
story, the Loveland Reporter-Herald elevated a pending visit by one NASA official to Loveland as something akin to
General MacArthur’s return to the Philippines.  The only problem is unlike MacArthur and the Philippines, NASA
was never in Loveland nor has the agency ever planned to locate a NASA research facility in Loveland as
erroneously reported during the ACE Project debacle.  Nonetheless, articles and discussions claiming some 7,000
NASA related jobs were coming to Loveland continued in some news
media and blogs well into 2012, nearly one
year after CAMT's ACE Project was officially over.

City Struggles to Change The Message

Victims of their own success at selling CAMT’s agreement with the NASA hyperbole attached, Loveland city officials
are now struggling to explain why the deal of the century wasn’t.  

Fogging the picture even further is the political necessity by some local politicians to argue that Cumberland &
Western (new owners of the property) current plans for the property are really just the “
next phase” of ACE, “a
long and complicated process of revitalizing the property.
”  In fact, the new owners of the property never
endorsed CAMT's ACE Project vision which is now being kept alive, at least financially, in some form or another only
by City of Loveland funds.

In reality, the property’s new owners will develop the former Agilent campus mostly along their own vision for the
property unencumbered by prior city commitments to CAMT.  CAMT’s ACE Project and the city’s former partner
CAMT are now gone.  In its place, the City of Loveland is looking to erect its own CAMT-like effort to support not only
the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology (Cumberland & Western’s name for the former Agilent
campus) but also small technology start-ups across Loveland.

City of Loveland Proposes CAMT Like Role For City
“Plagiarism is the root of all culture.”  Woody Guthrie

Borrowing from what they liked best in CAMT’s plans for the now defunct ACE Project, earlier this year the City of
Loveland hired a consultant to provide the same assistance CAMT had promised to local companies assisting in the
transfer of government owned intellectual property into the hands of private entrepreneurs.  The consulting firm
by David Lung , DA2, advises Loveland companies in licensing technologies used by NASA or other
government agencies for commercial applications.  If the consultant’s name sounds familiar there is a reason.  He is
the same consultant who was working for CAMT on their ACE Project  before the new owners bought the former
Agilent campus from the city.

Last May the City of Loveland
invested $150,000  into a technology transfer type project and now staff is preparing
a return to Loveland's Council in September to ask for even more funds for their newly created CAMT-like effort.  In
a white paper provided to Loveland’s Council last month by Economic Development Director Betsey Hale, the
following was proposed:

“Next Steps: City Staff will be spending the next several weeks meeting with public and private sector partners to
develop the business plan and budget.  The development of this program/ facility will place Loveland at the
center of Innovation and Creativity not only in Colorado but in the United States. “

Not to be confused with the former Agilent campus now owned by Cumberland & Western named Rocky Mountain
Center for Innovation & Technology, the City of Loveland is embarking on its own ambitious plan called, “
s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.
”  In other words, an effort like CAMT except operated by Loveland city
staff instead of their former non-profit partner CAMT.

The ambitious plan reported to council proposes, “
In an effort to keep the Ionosphere companies which have
been incubated in Northern Colorado and grow and retain jobs with existing Loveland businesses, staff will be
proposing a partnership with Colorado State University, the State of Colorado, Cumberland and Western and
RMII to develop a program/accelerator that fills the accelerated, advanced manufacturing gap.

According to one insider, the above paragraph can be translated to mean the “
partnership” is assistance or rent
guarantees by the City of Loveland for start-up companies looking to lease space in the old Agilent campus.  In
addition, the yet unrevealed plan contemplates the city paying for test equipment or other shared facilities at the
former Agilent campus just as CAMT had hoped for in their now failed ACE Project plan.  Of course, such a
commitment would require an appropriation by the City of Loveland which would need to go before the Loveland
City Council for approval thus exposing the details of the planned subsidy to public scrutiny.

The plan calls for the City of Loveland to pay Cumberland and Western $2 million to renovate some 40,000 square
feet of the 800,000 available and also lease the space for companies looking to move into the space.  Lung is telling
small companies they can get the space later in the year once the appropriate city approvals are done and the
incubator approved by Loveland's City Council.

Update On Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology (Former Agilent Campus New Name)

According to Robbie Robberts of Cumberland & Western, his company is in negotiations with two “large” tenants
but he can’t reveal any details about these potential tenants, given confidentiality agreements signed with those
companies.   While the leases are being called
“anchor” tenant agreements, there is little evidence either company
will occupy more than a very small area of the 810,000 square feet of space available in the campus.  Also
interesting is the fact neither Roberts nor city officials are willing to confirm if these potential tenants are indeed
from the space or aerospace industry sector.  Cumberland & Western agreed to a 5-year deed restriction by the city
when purchasing the former Agilent campus from the city earlier last year that limits tenancy to high-tech
manufacturing firms generally.  However, Cumberland & Western insisted in its negotiations with the city that
limiting the former Agilent campus to only space or clean energy companies (as the ACE Project proposed) was too
narrow a use of the property.

Improvements are being made to the property on a piecemeal basis.  First leaky roofs were fixed, utilities updated
and now some cosmetic work to the appearance of the property are scheduled to begin shortly using a local
landscape company.  Schlosser Signs, a Loveland company, is reported to be under contract to develop new signs for
the property announcing it as “
Rocky Mountain  Center for Innovation & Technology.”

In a recent email to Loveland’s City Council, Director of Economic Development, Betsey Hale, stated,

“Bill Murphree [Cumberland & Western] and Kelly Peters [City of Loveland] continue to work on the lease
negotiations with two major tenants.  As you can imagine these projects take time and there are numerous items
which both companies and site selectors need confidentiality on……the goal is to have some exciting
announcements for the community at the September 5th Business Appreciation Event.”

Hale took a another trip to Kentucky in late June to further coordinate the details of the September roll-out but also
to engage in discussions on future subsidies by the City of Loveland in the project according to one city source.  
Officially, Loveland City Counselors say they have not been briefed on any rent subsidy request but evidence one
may be coming to council in September is everywhere.  However, LovelandPolitics has learned that Cumberland &
Western is seeking $2 million from local governments to refurbish the area Loveland wants to use as a business

Cumberland & Western is expected to name the two "large" tenants who they say will occupy some 100,000 to
150,000 thousand square feet of the 810,000 available.  Regarding the balance of space available in the campus,
Cumberland & Western is looking to the City of Loveland to help fill the remaining space through subsidies to local
companies already working with the city’s CAMT-like program in association with NASA.

NASA has spent the past decade struggling to keep its workforce employed across 10 national NASA Centers and
has no plans to develop a new center in Loveland.  As competition for federal funds because more intense among
Members of Congress who represent districts where NASA facilities are located, talk of closing centers by the House
Science Committee and preventing those closings is where the national debate has centered.  Some in NASA are
encouraged by the City of Loveland and what they see as an opportunity to receive supplemental funding in a very
budget tight environment.

Riding on the positive publicity expected in September when Cumberland & Western completes its cosmetic
updates to the former Agilent campus and announces new tenants, city staff hope to make their move for the funds
then.  Companies now being cultivated at the early stage will be invited to fill smaller spaces in the campus either
leased outright by the City of Loveland or through subsidies provided by the city.  While details are scarce, a
number of smaller firms tell LovelandPolitics they are being promised by city staff an opportunity to grow in the
city’s business incubator, “virtually rent free.”  

While nobody is providing the public or media details on how this will work, one city staff member alluded off-the-
record to rent subsidies for companies linked to progress milestones in their business plans.  In addition, the city is
looking into acquiring expensive test equipment that would be available to the incubator firms as previously
proposed by CAMT as part of their ACE Project in addition to the $2 million of renovation costs.

Boulder Start-Up Hopes City of Loveland Will Be Their "Angel" Investor

One such potential recipient of city subsidies is Avior Control Technologies, Inc., named as a potential tenant for the
former Agilent campus and recently quoted in the Loveland Reporter-Herald.  To the uninitiated, Avior sounds like
an excellent prospect to bring high-technology jobs into Loveland but the details about the company are not so

Avior is a
start-up company by former Ball Aerospace electrical engineer Scott Starin.  Starin is well known in
Boulder County as a political activist and failed Republican candidate for Congress who once headed the
Republican's county organization.  The company’s website provides a P.O. Box as its business address and doesn’t
provide any information regarding number of employees, contracts or even annual sales.  Like DA2, Starin was also
heavily involved with CAMT and their failed vision for the ACE Project.  The Boulder Daily Camera (owned by the
same company as the Loveland Reporter-Herald)
profiled Starin and his company as a casualty in the failed ACE
Project in Loveland.

Fueling that speculation is the city's consultant, David Lung, who was quoted in an article by the Loveland
Reporter-Herald last March promising Loveland investment when stating,

"'We have the city, which is willing to invest, we have Cumberland & Western, who owns the buildings, and we
have the companies who are waiting to participate,' said David Lung, who had spent four months as a NASA
contractor to Thorndike's agency."

Call Centers Not Welcome

Possibly the least known fact about the sale of the former Agilent campus to the City of Loveland and later to
Cumberland & Western is that the property had other buyers.  A number of developers from California to New York
were either in negotiations or made qualified bids that Agilent turned-down in favor of the city’s offer.  The primary
reason for this is that those bids to Agilent had an important contingency that soured the deal – a contingency that
the City of Loveland approve the buyer’s intended re-use of the property - which Loveland did not do.

During a recent meeting on the property, Mayor Cecil Gutierrez announced to his colleagues and staff a “
call center
with $8 /hour jobs would not be allowed in the property.  The Mayor’s comment hearkens back specifically to that
company in Downey, California named IRG that was told by Loveland’s planning staff that the city had better uses
for the property when still owned by Agilent.
 IRG was also taken out of consideration for the ACE Project because
the owners balked at the proposed kick-back requirement for CAMT if they bought the property secretly
communicated by the city to bidders.

The City of Loveland did include a 5-year deed restriction the City of Loveland insisted on that would govern what
type of tenants Cumberland & Western (new owners) could lease the campus to in the meantime.  That means the
new owner cannot allow a tenant who runs a call center now until 2016.  Ironically, Cumberland & Western paid
about the same for the campus as IRG would have purchased it from Agilent but on better terms offered by the city
that reduced Cumberland & Western's risk to future claims of environmental contamination.

Loveland councilors with a more laissez-faire approach to local governance point out that Mayor Gutierrez is
misleading people when he says the only other job potentials for the property were $8 per hour call centers.  Local
call center operators, like Center Partners who occupy a former HP property in east Ft. Collins, say they pay
employees between $10 to $12 per hour.  In addition, some have argued that such a reuse of the property would
have employed Loveland residents looking for work which they is better than bringing in higher paid positions
filled from the outside and leaving only the resulting boom in service jobs for locals to fill.

If successful, the current plan to attract higher paying technology companies to the former Agilent campus will not
only have a significant impact on the local economy but will likely raise both property values and property taxes for
existing Loveland home owners.  In addition to any direct subsidies, it will also likely require continued City
expenditures for infrastructure and other improvements to enable the scale of business envisioned.  How much city
taxpayers are willing to invest and whether such an ambitious plan can be successful in a down economy remains
to be seen.
Below Are Links To
LovelandPolitics' Stories
Regarding the Former Agilent
Campus in Loveland beginning
in January of 2011 (bottom) to
the most recent at the top.
New Owners of Agilent Campus Prepare for Tenants
City of Loveland Seeking to Replace CAMT's ACE Project Role
Loveland To Develop 40,000 Sq. Ft. at $2 Million for Business Incubator