Tuesday, February 8, 2011

GlaxoSmithKline moving Phila. operations to Navy Yard

"GlaxoSmithKline is relocating its Center City operations to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. It will move about 1,300 downtown employees to the South Philadelphia site.
Liberty Property Trust will construct a 205,000-square-foot “state-of-the art workplace of the future” for the pharmaceutical company, said John Gattuso, senior vice president and regional director at Liberty, a Malvern, Pa., real estate investment Trust. Robert A.M. Stern Architects will design the $81 million, four-story building, which will be built to meet a LEED platinum designation.

“The reason it is at the Navy Yard is the company wanted a very specific environment that had a main street and that’s not a configuration that could be adapted in a current building or built in Center City,” Gattuso said. “That is the driver of the selection of the Navy Yard.”

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), in a statement, said the building will have an open plan design, which is consistent with other GSK facilities designed to bring employees together to foster better communication and idea sharing. The building will have a fitness center, restaurant, retail services, and free parking for employees and visitors.

Glaxo signed a 15.5-year lease with Liberty and anticipates moving to the Navy Yard between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013

The arrangement will keep the pharmaceutical company in Philadelphia. Glaxo has been evaluating its Center City presence for the last four years and has considered a range of options, including a move to the suburbs as well as proposed office buildings in the Central Business District, according to various real estate sources.

The pharmaceutical company has major operations in Center City, where it used to maintain its North American headquarters. It has a lease that expires in 2013 for about 650,000 square feet at One Franklin Plaza at 16th and Race streets from HRPT Properties Trust. It leases another 220,000 square feet at nearby Three Franklin Plaza from Liberty Property, and that lease runs out in 2014. That building overlooks the Vine Street Expressway.
Site work on the project will start this month and Liberty anticipates breaking ground this summer. "

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