North Vancouver export company Papertech, broke ground on a new office and warehouse building at 217/219 East 1st Street on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016. The company, founded in 1992 by Kari and Darlene Hilden out of their garage in West Vancouver, has grown over the past 25 years into an international company employing a local staff of 38 and many more worldwide. The company has been developing innovative camera vision systems for web and steel-based production lines, resulting in annual revenues of $15/million and a global roster of clients spanning 38 countries.
It has been a long-standing dream of owners Kari and Darlene Hilden to own their own building as they have outgrown their current lease and require more space for production. “This new building will be a perfect fit,” says Ms. Hilden. “It will be a larger facility designed to meet our needs and we can remain on the North Shore.”
Hilden says she paid top dollar to remain on the North Shore because she is committed to the area, having developed deep roots, living and working here over the years. “It’s just such a great place to live and work,” she says. “But we are designing it to suit our needs and although it’s expensive, at least now it’s going into our pockets.”
The new building, developed by PC Urban, will increase the square footage by 30%, and feature big windows to allow natural light into the warehouse facility. Employees will also enjoy a more pleasant work environment with air conditioning and showers for those who bike to work.
Another highlight of the new building is location. Although not far from their current building, the new Papertech office has a water view, and is within walking distance of Lonsdale Quay and the hotel that services clients that come in for training. There’s also a park across the street. “It’s an industrial area that needs a pick me up,” says Darlene. “We’ll be one of the newer buildings on that street.”
Last year at the BC Export Awards, Papertech won first prize in the Advancing Technology and Innovation category. Hosted by HSBC and sponsored by the government of BC and the BC Division of Canadian Manufacturers’ & Exporters, these awards recognize the commitment to local manufacturing and innovation made by all nominated companies for their valuable contribution to the BC economy.
Papertech expects to move into the new office and warehouse space next summer.