[caption id="attachment_46828" align="alignright" width="328"] BioMarin plans to occupy all of this 83,000-square-foot San Rafael Corporate Center building and part of another.[/caption]
SAN RAFAEL -- Novato-based BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN) said it plans to relocate several hundred employees from its Bel Marin Keys headquarters plant to downtown San Rafael by the end of this year.
BioMarin finalized a 10-year lease for 120,383 square feet of office space in two buildings at San Rafael Corporate Center. The company plans to occupy all of currently the vacant 770 Lindaro St. and two floors of 790 Lindaro.
"We're growing like crazy, and we're out of space," said Mark Wood, vice president of human resources and corporate affairs.
The company has grown from 250 employees in 2004 to more than 1,000 worldwide, including well more than 800 in Novato, its 20,000-square-foot research-and-development satellite office on the Peninsula and its recently acquired production plant in Ireland.
BioMarin is hiring for at least another 100 new positions this year, most of them in Marin but not necessarily connected to the San Rafael expansion, according to spokesman Bob Purcell. About half the Novato workforce lives in the North Bay, and the other half, in San Francisco.
Driving this growth are a number of treatments in various phases of development, U.S. and international clinical testing and production, Mr. Wood said. This year, the company expects to have seven products in clinical trials, the most in BioMarin's history, according to the company.
Net revenue from products increased 17 percent in BioMarin's third quarter, the most recent one reported, and 2011 revenue is expected to be $439 million to $465 million.
Research-and-development and some headquarters staff will be relocating from the Novato campus to the San Rafael offices. However, the Novato labs, manufacturing operations and warehousing won't be, Mr. Wood said.
Leases for about 70,000 square feet of office space at 90 and 105 Digital Drive at the Bel Marin Keys campus expire in 2013. Sometime next year, the company will be deciding what to do with that space, Mr. Wood said.
The company also plans to keep its 40,000 square feet of expansion offices at Wood Hollow Office Center on the west side of Highway 101 in Novato.
Architecture firm HOK's San Francisco office is designing BioMarin's San Rafael offices. BioMarin and San Rafael Corporate Center co-owner Seagate Properties will be coordinating tenant-improvement contracts via a list of previous vendors and contractors, Mr. Woods said.
Seagate is preparing for 300 to 400 BioMarin employees to occupy the space, according to President Wick Polite. The anticipated beginning of the move is April 15, pending design and building permits.
San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips said having so many new employees downtown will have a "tremendous impact" on local businesses.
"It will be great to have a lot of new employees downtown shopping and having meals," he said.
The maker of treatments for rare diseases has been rapidly expanding production in the past three years. In June, it announced it was buying a 133,000-square-foot Pfizer manufacturing plant in Cork, Ireland, for $48.5 million. The plant acquisition, along with the establishment of an international supply chain and logistics presence in Dublin earlier in the year, are BioMarin’s first production expansions outside the U.S.
In 2010, BioMarin also completed a $60 million renovation at its Novato plant, more than doubling its commercial production capacity at the eight-building campus. Last November, the company said it received the first Food & Drug Administration approval of the plant expansion. It was recently approved for European markets, Mr. Wood said.