Software company Emsi is expanding its presence in Moscow with a four-story, 70,000-square-foot building expected to house as many as 500 employees at the St. John Hardware and Implement site on the north end of town.

Emsi CEO Andrew Crapuchettes and Chief Financial Officer Timothy van den Broek announced the plans to Emsi employees Friday morning at the company’s existing location on Jackson Street, across from Moscow’s Friendship Square. The new 60-foot-tall facility will sit at the corner of Jackson Street and C Street, just south of the Moscow Recycling Center.

Van den Broek told employees the labor market analytics firm hopes to break ground on the 3.7-acre campus in October and to complete the building by October 2020. He expects to move employees in shortly after.

Emsi purchased the property from St. John Hardware and Implement, in a sale expected to close Sept. 30.

Emsi employs more than 200 people, with 160 of them in Moscow. When the company leased its current 22,000-square-foot space in early 2014, it had 92 employees. Its lease is set to expire at the end of 2020.

Crapuchettes expects it to take about six years to reach 500 employees. In the meantime, the plan is to leave the second floor vacant.

A main parking lot is planned for the south side of the structure, with plenty of stalls for employees, Crapuchettes said. He said Emsi wants a building that accommodates collaboration and a fun working atmosphere with the ultimate goal of making cool, innovative items for its customers.

“Our No. 1 value at Emsi is bless the customer,” van den Broek said.

The company, founded in 2001, was recently acquired by Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit that connects individuals to educational opportunities and careers. Since its founding, the Emsi website indicates, the company has launched the products Analyst, Career Coach and Alumni Outcomes. Details on the products and the company can be found on the company website, www.economicmodeling.com/.

Van den Broek said Hummel Architects, the 123-year-old Boise firm that designed the current University of Idaho Administration Building, will lead design on the new structure.

Emsi is engaging the construction firm Lydig Construction of Spokane Valley, Wash., to act as the general contractor and construction manager.

“Idaho is so proud of the employees and leaders at Emsi for their continued growth and contributions to Idaho and the Moscow community,” said Idaho Gov. Brad Little in the news release. “Emsi’s growth means they can employ more and more people with excellent jobs. The company also helps other Idaho businesses by offering labor market information that employers need. Emsi is a true Idaho success story and I appreciate them for the role they play in promoting economic development in Idaho.”

Moscow Mayor Bill Lambert praised the Partnership for Economic Prosperity, the city’s Community Development Department and Idaho Commerce for their work in helping to make the Emsi project happen.

“The continuing economic development partnership among the city, Latah County, the University of Idaho and Moscow Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental in making Moscow a great place to locate a business,” Lambert said.

The new building is expected to be only the first phase of construction.

When the company meets the 500-employee capacity of the building, the plan is to develop the 3.7-acre site further with sky bridges potentially connecting the first building on the property to other buildings, van den Broek said. A parking structure could be built in the future as well.

Earlier this month, the Daily News reported a public hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8 regarding a conditional-use permit that would allow St. John Hardware and Implement to build a store on the former Hawkins property on the Pullman-Moscow Highway in Whitman County just west of the Moscow city limits.

If St. John Hardware’s permit is approved, 10 acres of the 268-acre parcel of land would be set aside for the store, which sells farm equipment.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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