JP Morgan Chase buying AstraZeneca south campus

AstraZeneca

Financial services giant JP Morgan Chase is purchasing the a portion of the office complex of AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca confirmed the expected sale on Wednesday morning and issued the following:

“AstraZeneca has entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with JPMorgan Chase & Co for the sale of AstraZeneca’s south campus (including the Chesapeake and Delaware buildings, south of Powder Mill Road), subject to additional legal obligations within the agreement. The sale is expected to close in May 2014.”

A  DelawareOnLine.com story   cited documents filed with the Recorder of Deeds for New Castle County regarding a pedestrian bridge that connects the two campuses. Those documents pointed to a pending sale.

“I am glad that J.P. Morgan Chase has agreed to purchase the former South Campus of AstraZeneca,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “The purchase by J.P. Morgan Chase helps ensure that this centrally-located property will continue to be an engine for economic growth in our region.  J.P. Morgan Chase is our largest financial sector employer and has been growing in Delaware in the past several years.  We look forward to continuing to work with them to create economic opportunities for Delawareans.”

The Astra Zeneca south campus, which includes the Chesapeake and Delaware buildings, is south of Powder Mill Road and near Routes 202 and Interstate 95.

The Philadelphia Business Journal first reported the possible sale of the site for a reported $44 million.

The company will continue to operate a north campus. AstraZeneca has been reducing its head count in Delaware in recent years, with the most recent announcement being the loss of 1,200 jobs. About 300 of those jobs will move to the company’s Medimmune headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.

AstraZeneca  is expected to employ about 2,000 in Delaware once the restructuring is completed.

Chase has been expanding in Delaware, adding space in the Iron Hill complex, the former office campus and headquarters for MBNA south of Newark.

News of the possible sale led to fears that Chase might move operations out of Wilmington, the home of its credit card headquarters. However, Chase purchased the Christiana Gateway buildings last year, making that possibility unlikely.

The company confirmed it will add 500 jobs this year applied for a state grant that would be used as part of a $50 million or more plan to buy phones computers and build out space at its operations.

The expansion will push the job total past 7,000 and more than likely make JP Morgan Chase the largest financial services employer in the state.

The AstraZeneca buildings consist of a a four-story, 203,602-square-foot structure and a three-story, 153,949-square-foot structure. The buildings, built in 2002, contain a dining facility, hair salon, fitness center, conference and training center as part of the complex. Such amenities are in demand in efforts to attract younger workers for technical and other positions in banking.

Earlier he former Rollins building, also owned by AstraZeneca, was sold to a company owned by Applied Bank owner Rocco Abessinio. Applied has operations in Delaware County, Pa and a full-service bank in Delaware. The Astra Zeneca site has parking 2,259 vehicles between a garage and surface lot.

Tennis and basketball courts are part of the package. The 58-acre parcel has been approved for an additional 832,000 square feet of office space along with a new parking structure that could add 1,921 spaces. Solar installations on the South campus are included in the sale. The campus became surplus after AstraZeneca announced plans to cut its Delaware workforce as sales dropped.

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