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Martek expanding headquarters, renovating lab space

Columbia life sciences company Martek Corp. is expanding its headquarters and renovating its laboratory space as it continues to grow.

The company is taking an additional 22,000 square feet at 6480 Dobbin Rd., where it employs 220 of its 585 employees worldwide. That will give it a total of 88,000 square feet at the Columbia Business Center. The company did not disclose financial terms of the lease.

Martek makes nutritional oils derived from algae that are used in baby formula, dietary supplements and food products, such as yogurt, olive oil and juice.
The company recently acquired Connecticut health and wellness company Amerifit Brands Inc. But Martek spokeswoman Cassandra France-Kelly says the new office space will accommodate recent hires. The company has hired nearly 60 employees in the past 12 months with plans to add five more in the areas of research and technology.

It is also renovating its 23,000-square-foot lab at its headquarters to support new biofuel programs. Last year, Martek struck an agreement with BP PLC to produce biodiesels made from sugar. The renovation will allow it to identify new products for the pharmaceutical and food industry.

France-Kelly says the company stayed in its space because Columbia is a convenient location. Sandwiched in between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Columbia can attract employees from both locations, she says. Known for its public schools, Columbia is a good community to sell to prospective employees, she says. The spot is also accessible to the airport and train station.

"The community has been our home for a long time," France-Kelly says. "We've continued to enjoy being here."

Source: Cassandra France-Kelly, Martek
Writer: Julekha Dash

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