Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., New York’s largest biotechnology employer, has made its second major real estate investment in Westchester County in two years with its recent $50 million purchase of the New York Life Insurance office building and campus at 1 Rockwood Road in the town of Mount Pleasant.
New York Life initially remains a tenant in the approximately 383,000-square-foot building it has occupied in Sleepy Hollow since 2004, when it moved about 1,000 employees from Manhattan. Designed in the early 1970s for IBM Corp., according to a New York Times account of the real estate deal 12 years ago, the property had been largely vacant since the mid-1990s when New York Life paid $35.5 million for it in 2003.
The sale to Regeneron precedes the insurance company’s impending move to the White Plains Central Business District. “We have sold our Sleepy Hollow campus and will be relocating our employees to a leased office space in downtown White Plains,” New York Life Insurance spokesman Jason Weinzimer in Manhattan confirmed in a Tuesday email to the Business Journal.
Office brokers have said the company will move to Westchester One, the county’s 40-year-old and first high-rise office building, a 21-story tower at 44 S. Broadway.
Broker Larry Ruggieri, senior managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Rye Brook office, in a report this month on the downtown White Plains office market called the New York Life lease “the largest deal in the pipeline” among nearly 15 tenants actively considering leasing office space in the city’s downtown. New York Life “is said to have a lease out for the top four floors at Westchester One for up to 180,000 square feet,” Ruggieri wrote.
Weinzimer declined to disclose details of the relocation to White Plains, including the number of employees affected and when the move will be made. New York Life in November notified the state Labor Department that it will lay off 45 IT and finance employees at its Sleepy Hollow facility early next year.
For fast-growing Regeneron, the $50 million deal followed its $73 million purchase in 2015 of a vacant 100-acre parcel that adjoins the Landmark at Eastview campus in the town of Greenburgh. Regeneron officials in September presented plans to town officials to develop a roughly 1 million-square-foot research and development campus with nine buildings and five parking structures on the site.
The company last year also completed a $150 million expansion project on the Mount Pleasant side of the Landmark campus that added two buildings and about 297,000 square feet of office and lab space to its Westchester operations.
“Regeneron is pleased to expand our Westchester footprint with the purchase of 1 Rockwood Road in Sleepy Hollow,” Regeneron spokeswoman Erin Loosen said in a statement to the Business Journal. “We continue to grow rapidly as we advance our pipeline of innovative medicines for people with serious diseases. This building provides us with access to much-needed office space.”
Regeneron reported total third-quarter revenues of $1.22 billion, up 7 percent from the third quarter last year. Its net income for the quarter was $264.8 million, up 26 percent from the same quarter in 2015.
Net sales in the U.S. of Eylea, Regeneron’s drug treatment for retinal diseases, were up 16 percent in the third quarter from last year, totaling $854 million. Global net sales of Eylea totaled $1.32 billion for the quarter, a 20 percent increase from a year ago.
Trading in Regeneron stock on Nasdaq closed at $368.95 per share on Dec. 5. The booming biopharmaceutical company’s share prices peaked at $563.79 per share over the last year, with a 52-week low of $325.35 per share.
Regeneron officials said the company has 16 product candidates in clinical development.