AZ orders in the wrecking ball for sprawling R&D hub

Say goodbye to AstraZeneca's research hub in Delaware. Defying local economic development officials, the pharma company--which is undergoing a top-to-bottom restructuring of its global development efforts--plans to demolish 450,000 square feet of space at its North American headquarters. The three buildings marked for destruction, part of a sprawling campus in Fairfax, Delaware, could be valuable to economic development plans, according to officials.

The state's economic development office had tried to convince AstraZeneca to allow the state or Delaware Technology Park to take over the buildings and use it as incubator space or for start-up companies. But talks didn't advance far. "It's not terribly understandable to us why three viable buildings for the life-science industries would be torn down," Mike Bowman, president of the Delaware Technology Park, told Delaware Online. "But that reasoning is not ours to make."

AZ spokesman Tony Jewell said the company considered "many, many options" for the three buildings, but decided that it wouldn't be cost-effective to lease them or convert them to another use. In an e-mail to FierceBiotech, he noted that the R&D buildings date back to 1954. Demolition will start later this year, with the site work slated for completion by 2013.

- here's the story from Delaware Online