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Applied Materials moving into former Shopko store

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | April 24, 2022 12:00 AM

Applied Materials is on track to start operating in its new Evergreen building this month, according to Ricky Gradwohl, Applied Materials' senior director of communications.

The semiconductor equipment manufacturer started moving material into the new location at the beginning of the month, Gradwohl said.

Applied Materials took ownership of the former Shopko building at 1370 U.S. 2 East in 2021.

With the expansion into the new facility, which will be used for manufacturing, Applied Materials plans to add as many as 200 new jobs, the company’s general manager for Montana told the Inter Lake in November.

The building, which has been vacant since Shopko declared bankruptcy in 2019, is about 98,000 square feet. It sits on more than eight acres of land.

The county valued the building at $4.3 million in 2020.

Applied Materials manufactures equipment for semiconductors that are used in a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones and computers.

The Santa Clara, California-based company has locations around the world, including in Japan, Israel, India and across Europe.

Applied Materials acquired its former competitor, Kalispell-based Semitool, in 2009. Semitool sold for $364 million.

"Applied Materials is in the process of expanding our Kalispell facilities to support our growing business," Brian Aegerter, the company's general manager for Montana, said in a statement in fall 2021, when the company announced the purchase of the Shopko building.

"The work that we do has roots dating back over 40 years in the Kalispell community, and today our teams at Applied are making some of the most innovative products for the semiconductor industry.”

In 2015, a third Montana Applied Materials facility closed in Libby. All of its 17 employees were offered positions in Kalispell.

Applied Materials currently operates two Montana facilities, a local headquarters on West Reserve Drive and a packaging, plates and cleans facility on Birch Grove Road.

Applied Materials presently employs approximately 600 people, according to Aegerter, with 70 local openings actively available as well.

The new building will add 150 to 200 new jobs and increase Applied Materials’ local footprint to 350,000 total square feet.

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Applied Materials in Evergreen on Tuesday, April 19. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)