Boehringer Ingelheim campus in Petersburg is drawing interest

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Print this page By Paula C. Squires
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It's not everyday that a 190-acre pharmaceutical production campus comes on the market.  Rather than some staid suburban office property, the Boehringer Ingelheim property in Petersburg has laboratories, a stainless-steel tank farm and a vault for controlled substances. Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim selected Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to sell the company’s multipurpose campus off Interstate 95, and a spokesman says the property is drawing interest and offers many options. 

"It's a little bit unusual," says Stan Manoogian, senior vice president in JLL's Richmond office and the project leader for the assignment. "Our primary focus at this point is to find industry players that can use the production facility."  Several speciality chemical companies already have toured the property, he adds.  But there are plenty of other options.

The property could be subdivided, and there could be more than one user. "We've had some interest from a couple of universities with an eye toward doing academic research that they would be able to commercialize. We would be keen to see that happen because that becomes a driver for new uses for the property," says Manoogian.

Forty-four acres of the property at 2820 Normandy Drive in Petersburg have never been used, and a portion of the site includes access to the adjacent Norfolk Southern rail service. The campus offers administrative, maintenance, safety and warehouse facilities on site, including a corporate office building, a clinic, fitness center and cafeteria.

Boehringer Ingelheim developed the 190-acre campus  for the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for human, veterinary and clinical research use. Current production occupies about 85 acres on the site. The company announced in August that market conditions could no longer support the plant's production. It plans to end production in June of this year, according to JLL. The plant has been one of Petersburg’s largest employers, and the closure will eliminate 240 jobs.

Boehringer Ingelheim has  upgraded the facility since its inception in 1977, including $150 million in capital investments over the past five years. The campus meets DEA regulations for on-site production of Class II substances and is suitable for the ongoing production of API, specialty chemicals, nutriceuticals and chemical intermediates.

“Boehringer Ingelheim awarded Jones Lang LaSalle this exclusive assignment because of our global capabilities, successful track record within our Life Science Practice Group and the firm’s capacity to effectively manage complex transactions,” says Manoogian.

JLL and Boehringer Ingelheim also are working with city officials and staff at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to market the site. "At this point, we are soliciting offers from end users. We are marketing without an asking price," says Manoogian. The goal, he adds, is to find a buyer that could replace some of the jobs that Petersburg will lose when Boehringer Ingelheim stops production.

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