NJ Pharmaceutical Firm to Lease 83,000 SF in Pearl River

John Jordan | January 2019

Pharmaceutical firm RK Pharma has signed a lease to occupy the entire Building 215 and adjoining annex at the New York Center for Innovation in Pearl River.

PEARL RIVER—A Piscataway, NJ-based pharmaceutical firm has signed a major lease for approximately 83,000 square feet at the former Pfizer complex in Pearl River that is now known as the New York Center for Innovation.

Los Angeles-based Industrial Realty Group, which purchased 207 acres of the campus in late 2015 from Pfizer, announced the lease deal with RK Pharma. IRG purchased approximately 38 buildings of laboratory, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, office and support buildings. At the time the deal was announced, it was reported that Pfizer would retain and operate 500,000 square feet of space and leasebacks approximately 1.2 million square feet of space from IRG.

The long-term lease with RK Pharma involves the entire 215 building and its adjoining annex at the campus. Building 215 is comprised mostly of manufacturing space, including “Good Manufacturing Practice” manufacturing space, which helps to support product quality processes. The firm plans to bring 100 workers to the property.

“Construction, certification and approval of a new drug product manufacturing facility typically takes three to four years and leasing the Pearl River facility has allowed us to hit the ground running, saving us valuable time and money,” says Dr. Ravishanker Kovi, founder and executive chairman of RK Pharma.

He adds, “We have begun operations and the access to the existing equipment, along with a campus full of experts within the field has allowed us to advance our pharmaceutical development efforts. We are excited to be part of a campus with other innovative companies creating an environment for exponential growth.”

“RK Pharma is an excellent addition to the scientific community on campus,” says John Mase, CEO of IRG. “The New York Center for Innovation has a deep history of excellence in research and development, and RK Pharma will continue that heritage into the site’s next chapter.”

IRG reports that by the end of this year, RK Pharma will have the capacity to manufacture and commercialize a much larger portfolio of injectable products as well as ophthalmic, dermal and oral solid dosage products.

RK Pharma joins Pfizer, Sanofi (formerly Protein Sciences), Profectus Biosciences, Urban Electric Power and NuBiyota as tenants at the campus. John Cunningham of JLL represented IRG Realty Group in this transaction.

Jeremy Schulman, president and CEO of the Rockland Economic Development Corp., which assisted the leasing team in attracting RK Pharma to the New York Center for Innovation, says that RK Pharma’s planned investment at the property totals approximately $17.5 million. He adds the firm secured assistance from the Rockland Industrial Development Agency.

“RK Pharma’s expansion into Rockland County represents another important next step in achieving the shared public-private goal of fashioning the campus into one of the foremost hubs for the life sciences in the nation,” Schulman says.

RK Pharma is a vertically integrated group of health care companies that develops affordable active pharmaceutical ingredients, generic drug products and innovative new drugs. The firm specializes in seamlessly controlling the entire production cycle of a product from development of key starting materials, intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients, to formulation and manufacture of its final dosage form in a cost-efficient manner.

Recently the group created a commercialization arm Archis Pharma LLC, to market products manufactured by the RK Pharma group and its partners.

Prior to IRG’s purchase of The New York Center for Innovation campus in 2015 the property was first operated as Lederle Laboratories, then the headquarters of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (2002-2009). Pfizer Inc. acquired Wyeth and the property in 2009.

John Jordan
Editor, Real Estate In-Depth