SUMMIT, NJ—Pharmaceuticals is big business in New Jersey, and the deals just keep coming. Industry giant Schering-Plough has acquired the 1.8-million-sf Summit Research and Office Campus of another industry name, Novartis. It’s said to be the largest commercial property sale in the Garden State this year.

Novartis isn’t going anywhere right away, and it certainly isn’t leaving New Jersey. The firm will lease the 88-acre property from Schering-Plough until March 2003 when expansion of its other major facility in nearby East Hanover is completed. Most of the company’s Summit-based employees will be transferred to East Hanover.

In the meantime, Novartis will clean up groundwater contamination at the site, and Schering-Plough is expected to begin construction on a safety-evaluation facility and carry out selected renovations. Once Novartis departs, Schering-Plough will have the site to itself.

The 70-year-old campus was originally developed by Ciba Pharmaceuticals, later Ciba-Geigy. The latter merged with Sandoz in 1997 to form Novartis. Novartis brought Cushman & Wakefield-NJ on board to dispose of the property a year ago. Schering-Plough was represented by the Garibaldi Group of Chatham.

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