The chief executive officer of Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) says the decision to relocate the company’s global headquarters to downtown Indianapolis was the result of a major collaboration with state and local partners. Elanco announced today it will build a 45-acre campus at the site of the former GM Stamping Plant as part of an overall $300 million investment in its Indiana operations that is expected to retain or create a total of more than 2,100 jobs over the next 10 years.
Jeff Simmons says the company looked at sites around the world to find the best location for its new headquarters.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Simmons said several factors played into the decision to stay in central Indiana.
“We see the capabilities; we see a location that can attract talent, can build on the agbioscience background that we see with Purdue and AgriNovus and many other talents and our long history here that we’ve had,” said Simmons. “It also is extremely attractive to us economically. As we have our 1,600 employees, we’ll add a little over 500 employees over the decade to this facility as we consolidate.”
Elanco says it hopes to break ground on the new campus in the first half of 2021 and the project is expected to take 2-3 years to complete. As part of the deal, Elanco has a restricted land option to expand the site by an additional 20 acres.
Simmons says the new facility is bringing more employees together in a different environment.
“We’re going to reduce our office space as we go to a post-COVID world, a smarter, smaller office but then add the additional capabilities into it,” said Simmons. “It creates cash flow. It’s extremely good for our investors, for our employees, for future talents as well as the capabilities and most importantly, for the state of Indiana.”
In addition to bringing 1,600 existing jobs and 570 new jobs to the area, Simmons says the company aims to bring more value to the community.
“We’re excited to…partner with the community locally and what we can do there, we believe, is with our employees and with our Elanco Foundation and a purpose-driven company to become neighbors and partnering neighbors to have an impact.”
Elanco’s headquarters are currently located in Greenfield and Simmons says the company’s focus will remain in the Hancock County city while construction in Indy gets underway.
“There’s a collaboration that we will be working on with the state to continue. There’s a lot happening on the eastern side of the city as we know and we see opportunities as we did even as we moved from the last facility in Greenfield. We see opportunity with continued growth in the east side and the state is collaborating with us to ensure that that viability continues as we transition a few years down the road.”
Simmons says the idea for the campus was born out of a need for collaboration and innovation as the company looks to a world after the pandemic.
“We’re a company that needs a campus to tie capabilities together. So as we look at this, we see this as an opportunity to create a lot of efficiency, to centralize a footprint, to create a global capability, and also to tap into a state that has a history of agriculture, biosciences, technology, pharmaceuticals that will be critical as we go forward.”