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Roche outlines $3bn expansion for its Basel site

Decade-long programme will see the Swiss pharma company boost its presence in its home city

Roche Basel Wettsteinbruecke
A view of the planned development from Basel's Wettsteinbrücke

Roche plans to spend around $3bn updating and expanding its Basal site, home to the Swiss company's headquarters, over the next 10 years.

The company is set to build a new R&D centre for 1,900 employees and an office building for 1,700 employees, and will also upgrade its existing infrastructure.

Roche CEO Severin Schwan said: “Roche is committed long-term to Switzerland and to Basel in its dual role as corporate headquarters and one of our most important sites worldwide.

"The entire value chain is represented in Basel. Employees from all parts of the company are making a vital contribution to Roche's innovative strength, and we want to provide them with an attractive work environment.”

The company has been renting office space for a significant proportion of its employees in the city – a situation that the construction of its forthcoming 'Building 1' will only partly ease.

The 2015 opening of Building 1, which will be Switzerland's tallest skyscraper, will still leave around 3,000 of Roche's 9,000 or so Basel employees working out of rented premises spread around the city.

The CHF3bn ($3.1bn) development plans will bring together a large part of its Basel workforce on the main Roche site that has grown around Grenzacherstrasse and include a new research centre of four integrated office/laboratory buildings that will house 950 office and 950 laboratory workplaces and is planned to be operational by 2022.

Meanwhile, the new office building, which will be around 50 storeys high and house up to 1,700 office workplaces, is expected to be ready for use by 2021.

The company also plans to build a new logistics centre as part of a CHF700m ($734m) investment to upgrade its existing buildings infrastructure.

Finally Roche, the third largest pharma company, will spend CHF85m ($89m) over the two years from 2016 on renovating its Salvisberg Building – Building 21 – designed by company architect Otto Salvisberg and built in 1937.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

23rd October 2014

From: Research, Sales

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