Regeneron Plans 1 Million-Square-Foot Expansion
John Jordan | September 14, 2016
GREENBURGH—Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the fastest growing biotechnology company in the Hudson Valley if not New York State, is moving forward with a phased expansion of its operations that could result in one million square feet of newly developed space in the Town of Greenburgh.
Regeneron currently occupies more than one million square feet of leased space at the Landmark at Eastview, which is located in the Town of Mount Pleasant. The firm has filed plans with the Town of Greenburgh on a major expansion of its operations on property it owns adjacent to the Landmark at Eastview. However, it should be noted that no definitive construction timetable has been set and Regeneron, in a prepared statement, said that the company is pursuing the development for its projected growth, but has not determined when and if the new space will be built.
The company is seeking approvals from the town for nine buildings totaling 1,016,190 square feet of research and development and related space, including five parking structures (approximately 2,500 parking spaces), and related improvements. Regeneron owns the 100.17-acre parcel that is situated entirely in the Town of Greenburgh on the west side of Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) approximately 300 feet from the intersection of Old Saw Mill River Road and Grasslands Road (Route 100C). The property is located in the town’s Planned Economic Development District.
In a statement released to Real Estate In-Depth, Regeneron officials said of the pharmaceutical firm’s plans before the Town of Greenburgh: “Regeneron has called Westchester home for over 28 years and continues to grow and invest in the community. Our application to the Town of Greenburgh affords us the opportunity to expand in the future if needed. We are currently in the planning stages and are seeking site plan approval. We look forward to working with the town and our community partners as we go through this process.”
Regeneron affiliate Loop Road Holdings made a presentation to the Greenburgh Town Board in a work session on Sept. 6. Joanne Deyo, vice president, facilities for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Loop Road Holdings, led the presentation. The nine buildings would be built on 60 acres.
Deyo and other Regeneron officials stressed that no development timeline had been set and that construction would match its business and employment needs. No development cost for the project was revealed at the session.
Regeneron acquired the undeveloped parcel in May 2015 for $73 million, according to a report in the Westchester County Business Journal. At the time of the purchase, Regeneron stated that it had acquired the property “to offer flexibility for future growth.” Last year, Regeneron completed a $100-million expansion project when it opened two new buildings totaling 300,000 square feet of space at the Landmark at Eastview.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said of the proposed project, “This is for us really, really exciting because I think Greenburgh now is going to be one of the top two biotech centers in New York State.” Feiner said that Regeneron officials told the town that the project would be phased in over a period of up to 10 years.
He noted that once Regeneron builds and fills the space, the project will bring in additional tax revenue and local merchants will also benefit. He also believes the development will improve the local housing market with Regeneron employees seeking to buy housing near their employ.
Feiner noted that the property was rezoned last year to the town’s Planned Economic Development District that allows for major projects. He said that while projects of this size usually spark controversy and some local opposition, because of the rezoning and the property’s location in a commercial center away from residential housing, “This application will be pretty unusual in Westchester because if the Town Board had its preference we would approve it in five minutes.”
The proposal also includes the preservation of more than 40 acres of open space and improvements to local infrastructure. Feiner said the town expects in building permit fees alone to collect anywhere from $7 million to $8 million over the 10-year period. Regeneron, which achieved LEED-Gold designation on its last two buildings at Landmark at Eastview, would be looking to achieve that LEED status as well with its expansion space in Greenburgh.
Greenburgh officials during the work session stated that the proposed project conforms to the zoning and could be approved in the next four to six months.
Deyo said that the company has no development plans at the moment for the other 40 acres it owns. However, the company assuaged fears that the property would be developed for a big box retail user. Regeneron currently employs 5,000 workers worldwide and about 2,500 workers at its Landmark at Eastview campus. Deyo told the Town Board that if the expansion project were fully built-out it would double its Westchester workforce, or result in 2,500 new jobs.
If the project moves forward it would only enhance Westchester County’s emerging biotechnology sector. Westchester County is pursuing a $1.2-billion bioscience park at a 60-acre vacant parcel at the Grasslands campus in Valhalla.
The project called the Westchester BioScience & Technology Center, calls for approximately three million square feet of space to be built in phases. The total project site includes 60 acres of vacant county-owned land known as the “North 60” and an adjacent 20 acres of vacant property owned by Fareri Associates of Greenwich, CT. The county is looking to finalize a long-term lease deal with Fareri to begin development of the project.
Photo Caption: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals currently occupies more than one million square feet of leased space at the Landmark at Eastview in Mount Pleasant.