After redeveloping the Energy Park Business Center, the Port in 1987 turned its attention to a 71-acre site north of University Avenue and west of Highway 280, comprised of abandoned truck terminals and warehouses that pockmarked the very center point between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. From this mishmash of terminals and warehouses, the Port carved out the Westgate Business Center, which, among other things, fit perfectly with the long-overdue expansion of Impression Inc.The pioneering printer operated out of Saint Paul since 1967. Jorgensen family members, who launched and still own Impressions, first learned of space at Westgate at a dinner party attended by a Port Authority employee. The employee convinced them to look at Westgate as a work in progress because there were no roads. Yet, the site made an impression and the company, in 1990 became the first tenant in Westgate 1 where it still operates an 84,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The company specializes in full-scale, multicolor printing and packaging.
Dao Nguyen – Impressions Inc.
As the Port began the detailed work of cleaning up Westgate, Dao Nguyen and her family were escaping by boat from communist-occupied Vietnam. They survived the next one and a half years in a Malaysian refugee camp before relocating first to Hawaii and then, in August 1990, to Saint Paul. A friend from Vietnam talked about the opportunities in the East Metro. Nguyen studied graphic arts at St. Paul College and then landed a job at a small graphics company before joining Impressions’ staff in 1994. “I feel this work is very interactive; there is a lot of variety in what I do,” she said.