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Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - Page updated at 11:24 AM

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Amgen slates major growth for Seattle research campus

Seattle Times business reporter

Amgen plans a major expansion of its Helix research campus on Elliott Bay, a company spokeswoman said today.

The company plans to tear down vacant warehouse and office buildings on Pier 89 and build 550,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. The campus currently has 750,000 square feet of labs and offices.

Amgen expects to break ground this fall and complete construction in 2010.

The expansion fulfills larger plans that Immunex, the Seattle biotech company Amgen acquired in 2002, had for the 40-acre campus.

"There was a master plan for the campus that Immunex filed with the city," Amgen spokeswoman Carol Pawlak said. "We're using those guidelines and planning in the same area where that growth was, but we're moving the buildings around a little bit." "The site's very beautiful and functional and we want to create that same mix," she added.

The company will apply for new building permits for the expansion, which is still in the planning stage, Pawlak said.

Amgen plans to hire 150 new workers here in 2006 as part of a worldwide expansion of its research operations. The new space would give it room for approximately 750 more employees, potentially doubling its current employment at the site

. "Our business will drive our hiring," Pawlak said, "but we're building this laboratory space in anticipation of that research growth."

Benjamin J. Romano: bromano@seattletimes.com

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