U buys research building for $21 million

By By Federico Martin

By Federico Martin

Many months have passed since the U campus was not decorated with cranes, bulldozers or backhoes. But the newest addition to the U’s campus building list will not involve more construction — the building is already finished.

Researchers employed under USTAR, a state-funded technology research initiative, will soon move to a new campus facility purchased for $21 million from a pharmaceutical company earlier this month.

After negotiating the final details, NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. finalized the sale of its Salt Lake City headquarters, located in Research Park, to the U.

“It was a matter of need for more research space and a good deal on the facility,” said James Bardsley, associate vice president of health sciences.

The final price tag of $21 million includes the building itself, bought for $18.13 million, plus all the furniture and high-tech lab equipment already in the building.

The 90,000 square foot facility will allow the U to expand its research space in medical and some engineering sciences, and will serve to temporarily house USTAR researchers while the larger USTAR building is constructed.

According to Bardsley, the building is being purchased at an estimated price of $200 per square foot, which he said is about half the price the U would pay if it had to build a similar facility.

The building was available because NPS Pharmaceuticals is moving all its operations to the company’s headquarters in New Jersey, said Bill Pheifer, NPS senior director of administrative services and facilities.

“NPS is going through corporate restructuring. All SLC employees will be laid off,” Pheifer said.

The U does not have a specific date for taking over the research facility. NPS plans to stay in the building for several months.

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