$322 million expansion in store for Eli Lilly & Co.
INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly & Co. said it will spend $322 million to expand its drug manufacturing complex near downtown Indianapolis, adding to its manufacturing, office and laboratory space.
Lilly needs an additional 456,000 square feet of space “to prepare for what is a growing portfolio of products we’ll introduce over the next couple of years,” company spokesman Edward Sagebiel told the city’s development commission Wednesday. The project, to start this year, could take up to three years to complete.
The commission granted the drug maker preliminary approval for a $314 million property tax abatement over 10 years. Under a 1999 deal with the city and state, Lilly committed to hire 7,500 more employees locally by 2010. So far, it has hired more than 4,000, Sagebiel said.
An insulin finishing facility will be renovated, and two new administrative buildings will replace aging modular structures that will be demolished to make way for future construction. Another new building will be for the manufacture of a longer-lasting form of Lilly’s top-selling drug, the anti-psychotic Zyprexa.
Lilly executive William E. Smith III said the construction was not directly related to Food and Drug Administration inspections in 2001 that found eight Lilly operations failed to meet quality-control standards.
“This is not a case where the FDA said, ‘You ought to have these buildings,’ ” Smith said.
The plan includes four new projects on the heels of $1 billion in construction that was completed this year.