Whether that growth leads to action construction at the Swiss company’s Emeryville diagnostics hub is a good question, but there are encouraging signs.
Novartis has added 200 jobs in Emeryville over the past two years. It is set, I note in a story in this week’s print edition, to build off the blood-screening franchise Novartis bought five years ago in its $5.4 billion acquisition of Chiron.
What’s more, an infectious diseae group under the banner of Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research will have about 150 people — new hires and transfers from its current home of Cambridge, Mass. — when it gets all settled in at Emeryville by the end of 2012.
There are reasons to believe this growth under Peter Maag, president of Novartis Diagnostics and Emeryville site head, could translate into physical expansion.
For one, Oakland’s enterprise zone, which gives companies credits for hiring and on sales and use taxes and increased expense deduction for certain depreciable property, includes the Novartis campus.
Plus, Novartis last month filed an application with the City of Emeryville to demolish an aging, five-story lab and office building at the corner of Chiron Way and 53rd Street, said Charles S. Bryant, Emeryville’s director of planning and building.
Right now, Bryant said, the plan is to replace the building with a small surface parking lot and a whole lot of greenspace. But as Novartis continues to grow, construction instead of demolition crews may call the campus home.