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Takeda Exit Creates High-Profile Vacancy in Chicago’s ‘Pharma World’

Uncertainty of Timing Could Cloud Leasing Efforts for 3-Building Campus
September 11, 2018
Takeda Pharmaceuticals announced plans to relocate its U.S. headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois, to the Boston area.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which has been trimming its Chicago-area headquarters for a few years, will make the final cut in the coming months as it relocates its U.S. base to the Boston area, creating a major office vacancy in suburban Deerfield, Illinois.

The Tokyo-based biopharma firm said Tuesday it will relocate some 1,000 workers shortly after it closes its $62 billion takeover of Irish drug maker Shire, a move that jettisons Takeda into the global drug-making business by more than doubling its size.

“The work currently performed at Takeda’s Deerfield location will progressively consolidate from Deerfield into the greater Boston area following a successful closing of the Shire acquisition,” spokeswoman Julia Ellwanger said in an email.

“This move, while difficult, will allow closer collaboration across Takeda to best position our future pipeline for success,” she added. “It will also simplify our existing Takeda U.S operations.” Shire’s U.S. headquarters is located on a 96-acre campus in Lexington, Massachusetts, according to CoStar research.

It is unclear when the final move will take place. The Shire takeover is a major undertaking that requires a number of foreign regulatory consents and is facing some shareholder backlash in Japan. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has already given Takeda an unconditional nod to the deal, but it faces detailed reviews from the European Commission, Japan, China, Brazil and about 20 other jurisdictions, according to published reports.

Once the move is complete, it will leave 600,000 square feet of office space vacant only six minutes away from Walgreens’ corporate headquarters, which will be shrinking when the drug store giant relocates some 1,800 workers to the Old Post Office site being redeveloped in downtown Chicago. It also will vacate another 260,084 square feet in Bannockburn, Illinois, where Shire has offices.

The three-building Takeda campus at 1 Takeda Pky. sits in a prime location with easy access to expressways and O’Hare International Airport that might give it a leg up in its quest for another corporate user, according to real estate and development experts in the area.

The 70-acre site fronts the Tri-State Tollway and Lake Cook Road, with exceptional visibility for high-profile signage on a well-traveled interstate. But, given the double-digit vacancy rates that are prevalent in many of Chicago’s biggest suburbs coupled with the uncertain timing of Takeda’s full departure, the mission will not be an easy one.

“There’s not a lot of activity in the suburbs in general right now, but the property is sitting in pharma world in Chicago and that site is at the forefront of it,” said Chris Cummins, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield.

Indeed, a handful of other large pharmaceutical companies are located in or near Takeda’s campus and Chicago’s northern suburbs, including AbbVie, Abbott Laboratories and Horizon Pharma. Just last month, Depomed, a specialty advanced patient-care pharmaceutical firm, rebranded itself as Assertio Therapeutics and relocated its headquarters to nearby Lake Forest, Illinois, from Newark, California.

“If and when Takeda moves out and puts this property on the market, the most likely user is probably going to be another office user and most likely another pharmaceutical user because of all the companies that are already up here,” Cummins added.

Jennifer Waters, Chicago Reporter  CoStar Group   
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