Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is planning a major expansion of its central Indiana operations. The pharmaceutical giant says it will invest $2.1 billion to build two manufacturing facilities in Boone County and create up to 500 jobs. The plants are designed to boost Lilly’s manufacturing capacity for active ingredients and new therapeutics such as genetic medicines.
Lilly CEO Dave Ricks made the announcement Wednesday at the governor’s residence in Indianapolis alongside Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers.
The facilities will be built at the new LEAP Lebanon Innovation and Research District site in Boone County. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the site will be a strategic location for future growth, particularly due to its proximity to I-65 and position between Indy and Purdue University.
Ricks says the location of the site was a key component to the investment.
“Increasingly as we’ve built sites, we see a value in this concept of clustering, where not only we can be in closer relation to our own facilities…but also Purdue is a great asset for the state and for Lilly. It’s our number one source of talent,” said Ricks. “And, we imagine that this park could really help even expand that partnership with Purdue and I’ll mention Ivy Tech as well, where we’ve worked closely to staff our hourly jobs.”
Ricks says also being in an area where the company can be close to suppliers is a good advantage as well, which could be a possibility at LEAP Lebanon.
Lebanon Mayor Matthew Gentry tells our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal the project is the largest investment in Boone County’s history. The property is currently outside the Lebanon city limits, but the city plans to annex it to bring it inside the limits and rezone it.
“It’s a transformational project for Lebanon,” Gentry said. “We talk about what kind of companies you want in your community, and Lilly is at the top of that list. We’re thrilled to have them.”
Lilly says once construction begins, it will begin hiring for various roles. Ricks says the company and state will have to work together to ensure there is a constant flow of talent.
“We’re confident we’ll be able to staff those jobs. They’re great jobs. Our average wage in the state is about $105,000. This’ll be a mix of both hourly workers and engineering and leadership at the site.”
Lilly employs more than 10,000 Hoosiers and 36,000 worldwide. The company says in addition to the new full-time jobs, the project will create up to 1,500 construction jobs.
The IEDC says it is working with Lilly to finalize a performance-based incentive package for the project.
“Today’s very significant investment by Lilly in Indiana is an endorsement of today’s Indiana but also consistent with our vision for Indiana’s vibrant economic future,” said Chambers. “Lilly’s interest in the LEAP Lebanon Innovation District, if approved, validates our view that well located infrastructure is important to our future growth and innovation.”
Lilly did not immediately provide a timeline for construction.