AstraZeneca to remain at Fairfax site

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AstraZeneca photo.

AstraZeneca has opted to stay at its current Fairfax location near Wilmington.

The company evaluated other sites and choose to stay with the north Wilmington location, according to a statement from Alexandra Engel, director of media relations.

AZ had earlier announced plans to stay in Delaware, while looking at alternate sites, as well as the Fairfax complex.

“After evaluating all our options, we determined that remaining at our current site at 1800 Concord Pike and pursuing a site sale and leaseback arrangement with a real estate investor best fulfills the criteria established to ensure we have the right office space to meet our present and future business needs,” Engel wrote.

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On June 30, AstraZeneca completed the sale of the site to Brandywine Investment Group, LLC (BIG). BIG has, in turn, entered into an agreement with Delle Donne Associates (DDA), under which Delle Donne is the exclusive manager, developer, and leasing agent of the property.

“Part of our criteria for the sale of the site was to identify a qualified buyer and developer with a proven track record in redevelopment. DDA is one of the largest developers in the state of Delaware and has been a leader in the growth and development of downtown Wilmington and surrounding New Castle County,” Engel wrote “AstraZeneca has also entered into a leaseback agreement with BIG. Remaining at our current location will allow us to stay in a prime business location in northern Delaware and modernize our office space while achieving reduced operating expenses.”

Delle Donne had long been rumored to be the buyer of the property. It is engaged in a redevelopment project at the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus, the former Chrysler plant and more recently acquired the Christiana Executive Campus south of Newark.

AstraZeneca had also been rumored to be considering a site at ts Newark-area distribution and packaging hub. That site has undergone a $100 million renovation.

Engel confirmed that AstraZeneca will redesign its office space in Wilmington to create “a variety of settings in the workplace to support different types of activities and providing employees the freedom to exercise personal preference over which space they want to work in at any given time.”

Engle continued, “AstraZeneca’s workplace strategy is about people as much as it is about buildings and bright, contemporary floorplans. For example, different spaces are specially designed to accommodate and support concentrated individual work, one-on-one meetings, private phone calls, socialization, and formal meetings and presentations. This strategy has proven within the AstraZeneca community to foster more vibrant and collaborative working environments for its employees.”

Delaware Online reported that AstraZeneca will consolidate into space in a couple of the buildings on the campus, with Delle Donne redeveloping other space.

Delaware Online also reported the sales price of the property was $50 million.

AstraZeneca has downsized operations in the past several years from nearly 5,000 to 1,500 or so at presdient. AZ earlier sold its South Campus to JPMorgan Chase, which now operates a technology hub at the site.

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