Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Buys Avon Complex in Suffern; Plans to Spend $138 Million on New R&D Complex

Project to start by April 2024 to retrofit facility, build a new warehouse and redevelop an underutilized property.

Avon's Global Innovation Center in Suffern.
Avon's Global Innovation Center in Suffern.

SUFFERN—Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which is undertaking a $1.8-billion expansion in Westchester County, is investing another $138 million across the Hudson River in Rockland County to renovate a former Avon Products facility for its research and development functions.

An entity of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown (Rock County Holdings) has acquired the Avon Global Innovation Center at 1 Avon Place in Suffern for $38,875,000 from Avon Capital Corp. according to a deed filed with the Rockland County Clerk on Dec. 20, 2023.

Regeneron stated in documents filed earlier this year with the Rockland County Industrial Development Agency, that it plans to spend nearly $100 million to retrofit the facility located on 10 acres for its research and development operations. The company informed the IDA that it would look to start the acquisition or equipment or the construction of facilities at the site by April 2024 and complete the project by Sept. 30, 2026. The project is expected to create 230 full-time jobs upon completion.

The company’s IDA filing broke down the costs, in addition to the site acquisition, as follows: $63 million for reconstruction/renovation work; $23 million in non-manufacturing equipment (furniture, fixtures, etc.) costs and $6 million in soft costs.

According to the project’s inducement resolution with the IDA, the project will involve the redevelopment of an underutilized property and the construction of a new warehouse building.

The company secured a sales tax exemption of approximately $4.2 million on an estimated $50 million of improvements from the Rockland County Industrial Development Agency last month, and is pursuing a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreement with the Village of Suffern, the Town of Ramapo and the local school district. Avon had operated under a PILOT during its tenure at the facility, and was released from its Agreement with the IDA in April of 2023, according to a report in the Rockland County Business Journal.

Avon notified New York State its intent to shutter its 235,000-square-foot Avon Global Innovation Center in November 2022 for sometime in 2024. The company had operations in Suffern for nearly 140 years and at the time of the notice had employed 138 workers engaged in research and development. The complex at one time served as the cosmetic company’s corporate headquarters.

A Regeneron spokesperson in an emailed statement, said that the company purchased the Avon property on Dec. 1, 2023. “Regeneron will begin a comprehensive renovation project in mid-2024, transforming the site into a state-of-the art medical research lab, office and cold storage space. This facility will serve as a dynamic workspace for approximately 230 Regeneron employees, with the move-in process expected to begin sometime in 2025,” Regeneron stated. “In the interim, the previous site owners, Avon Products, Inc., will rent the space from Regeneron through Spring 2024 as it transitions its R&D operations to other locations.”

It concluded its emailed statement saying. “Regeneron’s mission is to turn world-class science into much-needed medicines for people around the globe. Beyond our commitment to scientific innovation, we are deeply invested in the communities where we live and work, contributing to the local economy, championing environmental sustainability, encouraging employee volunteerism and philanthropy, and nurturing STEM education programs to inspire future generations of scientists.”

Back in June 2022, Regeneron broke ground on the largest business expansion project in the history of Westchester County. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul joined other state, county and local officials to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking of Regeneron Pharmaceutical Inc.’s $1.8-billion expansion project at its corporate headquarters campus in Tarrytown/Greenburgh.

The biotechnology company has committed to create at least 1,000 new full-time, high-skill jobs in the Mid-Hudson region over the next five years.

Tarrytown serves as Regeneron’s corporate and research and development headquarters, and the expansion plan now underway includes the addition of new laboratories, preclinical manufacturing and process development suites and office space. The Westchester County expansion project will encompass the design, construction and fit out of up to eight buildings, three parking garages and a central utility plant totaling approximately 900,000 square feet.

New York State’s Empire State Development is supporting the project in Westchester with up to $100 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, consistent with the company’s hiring goals. Regeneron considered several potential sites in the tri-state area before deciding to expand in the Mid-Hudson region. The company has stated that it is also receiving incentives from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency and other sources totaling approximately $172.9 million.

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