PayLess Drug Pharmacy Group will relocate its base of pharmacy operations from Portland to Vancouver, bringing about 350 employees to its new location by September, PayLess CEO and President John Mack said Tuesday.
PayLess has leased 62,000 square feet in Building 2 of the former Hewlett-Packard campus, now called the Vancouver Tech Campus, 18110 S.E. 34th St. The pharmacy serves providers of long-term care in seven western states with its staff of pharmacists, technicians, support staff and delivery drivers, among others, Mack said.
“We’re just real excited to be in the Vancouver community,” Mack said. “We want to be a good neighbor and a good employer.”
The company’s lease at its present location ends in August, Mack said. He said the company “looked long and hard” for space in Oregon but couldn’t come up with a suitable location that had good highway access and an adequate supply of employee parking. With the company currently growing, the new location offers room to increase staff.
Expecting to recruit
While the location suits many employees, Mack said that some who live in more distant parts of the Portland metro area are unhappy about the northbound commute. He expects to lose up to 20 percent of employees in the move and will be recruiting to fill the positions.
PayLess bills itself as the leading privately owned specialty pharmacy in the Northwest, offering a full range of pharmacy services to skilled and intermediate care facilities, assisted living and residential care centers, adult care homes and correctional facilities.
The company is not affiliated with the former PayLess pharmacy chain, which merged with Thrifty Drugs in 1994. The combined chain was acquired by Rite Aid in 1996.
PayLess will occupy a portion of the Building 2 space that housed Crestline Elementary School in the 2013-14 school year after a February 2013 fire destroyed the old school building.