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Grass Valley tech company lists Crown Point Drive facility

The media technology company Grass Valley has listed its Crown Point Drive facility in Grass Valley for sale, the company’s CEO and president Tim Shoulders said.

Founded in, and named after, the city of Grass Valley in 1959, the company at one point employed as many as 1,700 people in western Nevada County.

Its presence has since shrunk to between 80 and 90 people currently based in Grass Valley, said Shoulders. The company is now headquartered in Montreal, Canada.



“A lot of the change has occurred over the last 20 years,” said Shoulders.

According to Shoulders, the company’s hardware manufacturing formerly done in Grass Valley was moved to Montreal in the last decade, a reflection of the company’s long-term adjustments to a decrease in demand for hardware, and toward more software and virtual solutions throughout the media technology industry.




“To keep up, and to keep eyeballs on their own platforms, our customers have to produce a lot more content, and then they have to compete with a lot more people for the rights to that content, and so all of that reduces the amount of revenue they receive for each of the assets they produce,” said Shoulders.

He explained that, as a result, companies like Grass Valley are increasingly helping their clients to “virtualize“ their workflow.

“So, they essentially buy less hardware and buy more software, and pay for things as they use it, versus building out humongous infrastructure for their programs,” he said.

“We’re retaining a presence in Grass Valley, so we’re just downsizing facilities,” said Shoulders. “But, I’m always eager to recognize the contribution that the talent in Grass Valley and the people of Grass Valley have made for the media technology industry whenever we make a change.”

Some of the company’s jobs currently based in Grass Valley will be moved into a smaller facility in the area. The Crown Point Drive facility has capacity for 200 people, over twice the company’s local workforce.

Others will be relocating — whether to Montreal for proximity to manufacturing operations, or to cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta to work more closely with the company’s customers “where the media is happening,” said Shoulders.

In addition, a few more jobs will become remote, said Shoulders, as the pandemic has shown that more people can work from home.

Shoulders said Tuesday he did not know to what extent interest had been expressed in the facility so far, stating that it is still early, around one month since listing.

“We think it’s a great location for another tech firm or an IT company to move in,” said Shoulders, explaining that the space was set up for this kind of work, equipped for servers and other IT equipment. “We’re hopeful we’ll find a buyer in that type of space that will move into the facility.”

“The folks in Grass Valley, California (and) Nevada City that have paved the way for creating the company that Grass Valley is today, and frankly, a lot of the media technology industry, we won’t forget their contributions,” said Shoulders.

“We’re still carrying the Grass Valley name very proudly.”

Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at vpenate@theunion.com.


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