SUMMIT, NJ — The long-awaited purchase of land at 556 Morris Ave. in Summit, a campus space formerly owned by Merck, has been officially completed, according to city officials, ending a two-year process which leaves it in the hands of biotech giant Celgene. The space, which includes 850,000-square feet of administrative office space and 450,000-square feet for research and development, has been linked with Celgene going back to early 2015, and the company had reached a contract agreement with Summit in July.
The agreement was set to go through in September pending “due diligence,” city officials said. An official, finalized deal, though, has Summit officials excited about the local impact Celgene will have.
“We are extremely pleased that Celgene will continue to develop and grow its highly successful business in its new world-class Summit location,” said Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson. “Celgene is a long-standing community partner and we anticipate them making the most of another exceptional property.”
Celgene, which was already based in Summit, will be acquiring what was formerly the home of Merck & Co., Inc., which announced it was leaving the property in October 2013, when its new global headquarters were established in Kenilworth.
The city worked to find a new tenant since that point, and the answer is a company that will be familiar to local residents. Celgene has already integrated itself into Summit’s community over the years, according to Council member Robert Rubino, who spoke to Localsource in July, making it the perfect partner for this opportunity.
“Hopefully it will put us on the map, for other companies, to settle here in Summit,” said Rubino. “They’re going to be creating a lot more jobs, locally. It’s going to help the property values, I think, because it’s going to be an economic stimulus to not only the downtown, but the businesses in the area. I think it’s important that people and other large corporations, when they’re looking to relocate in the Northeast, they’re going to look to Summit for its unique qualities.”
The site at 556 Morris Ave. includes includes research and development facilities, laboratory and support buildings, manufacturing capabilities, storage, warehouse buildings and administrative office space. Along with the completion of construction on a new, 550,000-square foot office building at Celgene’s global headquarters, Celgene is concentrating its New Jersey operations near Summit, city officials said.
“The announcement by Celgene in early July of its intention to acquire the property was a clear indication that the company values Summit as a great place to do business,” said Dickson. “Partnering with Celgene to bring about this important investment in the Summit community has been a priority for the city, and we look forward to working together with this outstanding organization for many years to come.”