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Celgene buying 1.3M sq. ft. Merck complex in Summit

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Celgene Corp. has agreed to buy the vacant Merck & Co. campus in Summit.
Celgene Corp. has agreed to buy the vacant Merck & Co. campus in Summit. - ()

Celgene Corp. has agreed to purchase the vacant 1.3 million-square-foot Merck & Co. complex in Summit, adding to what is already a quickly growing footprint in the pharmaceutical giant's home city.

The company announced Wednesday that it will acquire the site at 556 Morris Ave., which includes a mix of administrative and research and development space. Pending the completion of due diligence, closing is planned for September.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition comes as Celgene, a $7.7 billion biotech company founded in 1986, continues work on a 500,000-square-foot expansion of its headquarters in Summit. The project broke ground in spring 2014 and is projected to be complete by the end of this year.

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That project and the acquisition of the Merck campus would give Celgene an enormous footprint in the Union County city. In a prepared statement, Celgene Chairman and CEO Bob Hugin said the company “has a long relationship and is a proud resident of Summit.” 

“We are grateful for our strong partnership with the Summit community and city government,” he said. “Summit is an ideal strategic location for Celgene; convenient to both the New Jersey and New York City talent pools. Through this potential acquisition and the construction now underway of (the company’s headquarters expansion) we look forward to further enhancing our presence in New Jersey and the Summit community.”  

The deal also would give a second chance to the Merck site after the company announced plans to vacate it in fall 2013. The move rippled through Summit, after the company initially said it would consolidate its headquarters there, but opted instead for a complex in Kenilworth.

The site includes research and development facilities, laboratory and support buildings, manufacturing capabilities, storage, warehouse buildings and administrative office space, according to Celgene’s news release. The site includes about 850,000 square feet of administrative office space and 450,000 square feet of R&D space. 

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