The company had filed a WARN notice with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the future closing of the site. ThePhiladelphia Inquirer reported 134 jobs are affected, a figure confirmed by the company.
The site is about 45 miles away from AstraZeneca’s Fairfax offices and AstraZeneca spokeswoman Abigail Bozarth confirmed that the jobs will move to the Delaware location.
Bozarth issued the following statement from the company:
We are closing the Fort Washington office and consolidating our footprint to create efficiencies and reduce expenses. Fort Washington roles, which primarily supported the US Diabetes business, will be based out of Wilmington as of October 3, 2016. There have not been any reductions as part of the decision to close the Fort Washington office.
Co-locating Fort Washington based employees in Wilmington will also provide greater opportunity for closer collaboration and alignment within the US Business.
We recognize change is difficult and are fully committed to working with employees to ensure they have the flexibility they need through this transition.
The closing had long been rumored as the company undergoes a cost reduction program as it focuses on fewer pharmaceutical areas and feels the sting of diminished revenues as drug patents expire.
Delaware saw the loss of more than a 1,000 jobs in a previous restructuring that moved some positions to AZ’s Medimmune business in the Washington, D.C. areas.
AstraZeneca representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The transfer may not result in a net gain in the 2,100 AstraZeneca jobs now in Delaware. The company is expected to undergo restructuring of its operations in the state that now includes its North American commercial headquarters.
The company earlier confirmed its plans to remain in the state Its options in Delaware could include moving its administrative staff to another site or renovate is existing Fairfax location near Wilmington.
The Fairfax site has been put on the market. However, the company stressed that did not mean offices will move to another location.
Earlier, the company razed research facilities at the Fairfax site and sold off its south campus to JPMorgan Chase, which now operates a technology hub. A pedestrian bridge remains in place between the two sites, leading to speculation that the financial services company could expand across the highway.
AstraZeneca does have a distribution center site south of Newark off Old Baltimore Pike with open space. AZ is investing $100 million at the site.
AstraZeneca, like other companies, is moving to open work environments and meeting rooms, rather than banks of offices. JPMorgan Chase employed that approach when it ripped out windowed offices at the former AZ South Campus.