Come 2020, the East End of Portland will be looking a little different.

This week, the Portland Planning Board approved a site plan for the proposed headquarters of Vets First Choice, according to the Press Herald. The company fills and ships supplies and over-the-counter medications for local vet clinics to keep pet owners' money in the region as opposed to going online and ordering through Amazon or PetMeds.

The 170,000-square-foot facility will feature space for more than 1,500 employees including offices, a pharmacy, a fulfillment center and software and data science labs. Construction will begin immediately, with a two-phase schedule: the pharmacy and fulfillment center should be completed in October 2019, with the remainder of the construction wrapping by April 2020.

Courtesy Vets First Choice (Rendering)
Courtesy Vets First Choice (Rendering)

The new headquarters will create a prominent new source of employment for the Greater Portland area and beyond, Vets First co-founder and CEO Benjamin Shaw indicated in a news release.

“We expect to add more than 1,000 new high-quality jobs in southern Maine and believe this downtown location will be critical towards attracting world-class talent," Shaw said.

David Shaw, father of Benjamin, founded Idexx (a veterinary diagnostic testing products company) in 1983. The companies are contributing in a big way to Southern Maine becoming a hub for animal health services.

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