The world’s largest drug developer wants to open a 400,000-square-foot, $100 million clinical testing facility in Chandler by 2008.
Covance, a global drug development company with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, plans to begin submitting development plans to the city for a 38-acre parcel near Germann and Price roads. The company bought the property for $8 million over the summer.
Covance senior vice president Wendel Barr presented the company’s tentative plans Wednesday to Chandler’s Economic Development Advisory Board. The board, made up of local business people, advises the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission on incoming business projects.
And if Wednesday’s meeting is any indication, Covance will receive a warm welcome from Valley economic development officials.
"We’re really excited about you being here," said Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. "You’re a world-class company."
Covance began looking to expand about 2 1 /2 years ago and considered San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and other areas before picking Chandler.
Not everyone’s thrilled to see Covance coming, though. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a letter-writing campaign in September to urge Chandler leaders to stop the company.
Barr said Wednesday the Chandler facilities would be used for testing on animals, which is mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before drugs can be used on humans.
Covance opponents also attended the meeting, though in small force.
"As much as I love this community and am happy to be in Arizona, I do have to say if Covance does move to Chandler, I will consider leaving Chandler," said resident Kathy Urrea.
PETA officials point to their own "undercover investigation" in which a PETA member working at a Covance facility in Virginia videotaped other employees mistreating test animals.