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Lake County officials upbeat that Takeda site will not stay vacant long.

Byline: Richard Klicki

While Takeda Pharmaceuticals' decision to move its U.S. operations out of Deerfield by the end of the year will have an impact on Lake County's economy, local and county officials are upbeat that the property won't sit idle for long.

The Japan-based drugmaker announced last fall that the headquarters would move following Takeda's $62 billion acquisition of Irish pharmaceutical company Shire. That deal closed last January.

Approximately 1,000 employees at the massive complex on Lake-Cook Road at I-294 were notified Monday of the closing timetable. Takeda spokeswoman Julia Ellwanger said Wednesday much of the operations will be moved to the Boston area, where Shire has its U.S. base. The company has already begun to transfer some operations, with the transition to be completed by Dec. 31.

"We are encouraged by the progress we have made thus far," Ellwanger said. "Managers and their teams are working to consider employee needs and the needs of the business."

Ellwanger said Takeda plans to sell the property by the end of its fiscal year, March 31, 2020, and is currently working on finding a firm to market the site.

Deerfield Village Manager Kent Street said Wednesday company officials have been in contact with the village since the announcement last year in preparation of the property's sale. Since then, he said, the village has received a couple of inquiries into the availability of the property.

"We are hopeful and have a positive feeling that there will be a buyer for the site," Street said. "We don't expect it to sit on the market very long.'

Kevin Considine, president and CEO of economic development group Lake County Partners, also said there has been interest in the Takeda site. Both Considine and Street declined to mention any names, noting the interest at this point has been speculative.

"We are certainly sorry to see Takeda leave, but we remain bullish about our life sciences sector, especially given the tremendous growth not only at AbbVie, Pfizer, and Horizon Therapeutics, but also at less well-known companies like AveXis, Assertio Therapeutics and Nexus Pharma," Considine said.

The property generated about $150,000 in tax revenue to the village, Street said. While that will have a short-term impact on the village budget, Street noted the property's location, newer buildings and ability to expand will be key draws for a new owner.

"Our preference would be that it is acquired by a single buyer," he said, but added it'll be Takeda's decision on who acquires the land.

Ellwanger said a number of Takeda employees will be able to work remotely, while others will require co-location. Employees will have the opportunity to transfer if their job require moving, and if a solution can't be found for an employee, the company will provided severance and transition support programs, she added.

Takeda's Bannockburn facility will also serve as a transitional location for some employees, she added.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Jun 27, 2019
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