Exact Sciences announced Monday they will not expand their headquarters downtown and will no longer be part of the Judge Doyle Square project.
The biotech company will instead focus efforts on developing their already-established University Research Park location.
Following a 50 percent drop in stock value earlier this month, Exact Sciences decided to make a “fiscally prudent decision” to stay at the University Research Park instead of relocating downtown, J.P. Fielder, Exact Sciences spokesperson, said.
Soglin gives Exact Sciences extra time to evaluate 50 percent stock dropMayor Paul Soglin calls for response from biotech company Exact Sciences, a key tenant in the Judge Doyle Square project, after their share Read…
Exact Sciences will continue to work alongside the city as well as University of Wisconsin in order to establish a biotech campus and headquarters for the company, according to an Exact Sciences’ statement.
Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences chairman, spoke of his interest in further establishing a campus presence in the statement despite stepping away from the downtown location.
“This is an opportunity to work with the city, build on our current footprint in Madison and partner with the university to continue grooming its aspiring talent,” Conroy said in the statement. “While the chance to build a headquarters downtown was incredibly appealing, an opportunity to develop a campus allows us to bring our team together and make a prudent investment that benefits the company and community for the long term.”
— Becky Blank (@BeckyBlank) November 2, 2015
Though Exact Sciences’ choice not to move downtown came as a disappointment to many, keeping the organization located within Madison was one of the biggest concerns, Alderman Mike Verveer, District 4, said.
Without the relocation of Exact Sciences, however, this leaves downtown lacking diversity in the job market, Verveer said. Most of the private sector jobs that exist downtown are limited to lobbying and law firms, he said.
“It would have been something special to bring a major growing corporate headquarters downtown,” Verveer said.
Exact Sciences pushed for a rushed timeline for this process, which led to development plans that were not ideal, Verveer said. The proposed hotel had less than the suggested minimum of 250 rooms, and the parking was slated to be built above ground, taking up valuable ground-level space.
Despite some of the downsides of Exact Sciences’ decision, the extra time will give the city a chance to improve the plans for the hotel and parking garage, Verveer said.
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In response to this news, Mayor Paul Soglin sent an email to City Council members outlining the next steps for the city.
The city will now reconsider the three additional proposals initially submitted to develop the Judge Doyle Square area, according to Soglin’s email.
In early November, the city’s financial board will consider next steps for Judge Doyle Square. The city will allow the development teams to revise their proposals, and by January 2016 the city will complete initial reviews of all proposals, according to Soglin’s email.
“On one hand, this is disappointing given the level of city effort the past six months to meet an accelerated timetable to secure the downtown location at Judge Doyle Square,” Soglin said in the email. “At the same time, the city remains committed to work with Exact Sciences to plan for and expand the company’s facilities in the city of Madison at the University Research Park.”