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WAYNE, PA-Shire Pharmaceuticals Group PLC has signed a lease for the full 115,000-sf office building at 1200 Morris Dr. in Chesterbrook Corporate Center. The giant UK-based firm relocated its US headquarters from Newport, KY to this center in September 2004.

It currently occupies an aggregate of 230,000 sf in buildings at 725 and 735 Chesterbrook Blvd. along with another 8,000 sf in 955 Chesterbrook Blvd., according to a Shire spokesman. He tells that Shire will invest “a ballpark budget of about $30 million in renovations” to 1200 Morris Dr.

The lease is for 10 years. “Renovations will begin now and we anticipate occupancy in early 2008,” the Shire spokesman says. The new facility will house executive, general administration and R&D offices, and the company expects to add 390 employees within the next four years.

The state is providing nearly $2.1 million in incentives. The package includes a $600,000 opportunity grant, $300,000 in customized job training assistance and nearly $1.2 million in job creation tax credits. Because the facility will include research functions, Shire is also eligible to apply for Pennsylvania R&D tax credits.

Dan Dagit, SVP in the local office of CB Richard Ellis, represented Shire in the negotiations. Steven Cousart and Stephen Kriz in the same CBRE office represented the owner, Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System. Grosvenor Investment Management US, which is based in Philadelphia, is a PaSERS advisor.

Citing a confidentiality agreement, Dagit declines to disclose the aggregate value of the lease. Published asking rent rates for office space in the Chesterbrook complex is $27 per sf. The building at 1200 Morris Dr. is one of two in the center that was not acquired by Jenkintown-based Pitcairn Properties in March 2006 when it acquired a portfolio of 13 buildings here and the four-building Glenhardie Corporate Center from locally based Fox Realty Co. for $251 million. Its equity partner in the buy is Frankfurt, Germany-based SEB Immobilien-Investment GmbH.

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