The Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. research and development campus in Hopewell — Courtesy: JLL
By Joshua Burd
The brokerage team that has sold many of New Jersey’s most high-profile pharmaceutical campuses has its latest assignment — the 1.14 million-square-foot Bristol-Myers Squibb research and development complex in Hopewell.
JLL announced recently that it was retained by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to manage the sale of the 433-acre, 33-building R&D campus at 311 Pennington Rocky Hill Road. The firms said they were exploring several options, including leasing large portions of the complex to like-kind users while simultaneously pursuing a sale to a single investor.
The campus includes chemistry, biology and biotechnology research and development facilities, along with a biological clinical supply manufacturing facility, warehouse space, an automated sample repository and corporate offices. The firm said it will market the property while working closely with Hopewell Township officials on the sale to ensure that the site remains an asset to the community.
“We look forward to working together with JLL to seek a positive transition of ownership for the community,” said Bruce Mayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s director of global real estate. “JLL has a proven track record of successfully marketing and selling large, complex research and development campuses throughout New Jersey.”
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced last year that it planned to close the Hopewell campus as part of a broader reshuffling of its research and manufacturing facilities nationwide. The drug maker was also slated to close two smaller buildings in Bloomsbury and elsewhere in Hopewell, while mulling additions to facilities in Lawrence and New Brunswick.
The JLL professionals handling the sale will be led by Dan Loughlin, international director and broker lead for JLL in New Jersey, along with managing directors Thierry Delvaux, Joseph Garibaldi, Robert Bull and Jim Medenbach; John Buckley, executive vice president; Robert Ryan, senior vice president; and Jillian Caster, vice president.
The complex’s 500,000 square feet of R&D space includes two recently renovated state-of-the-art modules, JLL said in a news release. The first is a 60,000-square-foot biology research lab with environmental rooms and tissue culture areas, while the second contains a 58,000-square-foot, clinical-scale, biologic Good Manufacturing Practices building that produces medicines to support clinical trials.
The campus also has a 106,000-square-foot data center and 330,000 square feet of office space, JLL said. It is supported by a central utility and waste water treatment facilities that can facilitate future development of several hundred thousand square feet on the site.
The campus also features a working farm spread across 190 acres.
The assignment follows several large transactions brokered by JLL on behalf of major life sciences companies, which have sought to reduce or reshape their footprint in the Garden State. Since 2012, JLL has sold Sanofi-Aventis’ 1.2 million-square-foot R&D campus in Bridgewater, Hoffmann La-Roche Inc.’s 2 million-square-foot North American headquarters and R&D complex in Nutley and Merck & Co. Inc.’s 1.5 million-square-foot R&D campus in Summit and 1 million-square-foot complex in Union.
“JLL New Jersey has extensive experience in marketing high-value life science sites,” Loughlin said. “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s campus is a state-of-the-art, move-in ready research, innovation and manufacturing space that is located in a region with a highly skilled workforce.
“Laboratory and manufacturing facilities are scarce and very expensive to develop. The two renovated facilities on the campus represent a rare opportunity for companies seeking a jump-start on the development and manufacturing of biologics.”