- Allergan (formerly Actavis) will consolidate its U.S. corporate headquarters at a new location in Madison, New Jersey. The move, which was spurred by a $58 million, 10-year Grow New Jersey Award from the state Economic Development Authority (EDA), will bring together all of the business operations from Parsippany, Bridgewater, Jersey City and Rockaway.
- The new headquarters will be located at a 431,495-square-foot facility at 5 Giralda Farms. Completion of the build-out is slated for the end of 2017.
- Not only will all positions at the current locations be retained post-consolidation, but the EDA projects creation of another 300 jobs.
The EDA provides awards to companies doing business in New Jersey with the expectation that the investment will yield returns benefiting the state and individual workers. Based on its projections, the EDA estimates that its $58 million incentive award will yield a net benefit of $385.1 million to the state's businesses over the next 20 years.
Allergan has met all of the criteria required to obtain an EDA award under the Grow NJ program. Moving into its new headquarters, Allergan is positioned to generate new tax revenue, complete capital investments and hire new employees, while retaining all existing staff. For Allergan, the EDA award was a significant influencing factor in its decision to not only stay in NJ, but expand its presence.
While the overall deal is a good one, Allergan's Parsippany and Jersey City-based facilities will have to forfeit existing grants, which translates into a $15.2 million loss of future revenues.
New Jersey is in tight competition with Pennsylvania for life sciences jobs. In fact, Allergan was considering a 344,280-square foot Lansdale, PA location for its headquarters. However, the EDA incentives solidified the move to Madison.
"Allergan's decision to commit to New Jersey and our robust life sciences ecosystem is testament to the rich resources available to the industry including talent, space and government support which are critical to such a decision. We could not be more thrilled with Allergan's decision and look forward to partnering with them to continue to support and expand the industry in our great state," said Debbie Hart, president and CEO of state industry group BioNJ.
According to a report from the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development, prepared this summer, there were 115,000 life sciences workers in NJ in 2014. Those industry employees represented 3.5% of all private-sector workers and earned 8.1% of total wages. The average annual salary among life sciences workers in NJ is $137,290, compared with an overall average of $60,150.
Between 2007 and 2013, the number of life science jobs declined by 13.6%, but were buoyed in 2014, during which time life science sector jobs increased by 8.8%.
New Jersey is known as the country's "original pharmaceutical heartland," but has been losing companies to areas like Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Francisco.
Merck, for example, recently cut nearly 400 R&D jobs at three sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but plans to open new labs in both Cambridge and San Francisco. Merck said the changes would allow the company to have better eyes on external science by expanding its presence in two areas synonymous with cutting-edge biomedical research.