Taconic departs Hudson

Jobs move to E. Greenbush, Germantown

HUDSON—Taconic Biosciences announced last week that it would be moving its corporate headquarters out of One City Centre at Green and State streets to the Albany Health Sciences Campus in the City of Rensselaer. The move is scheduled for the end of this year.

The new office will house the company’s leadership staff, along with all staff from its product strategy, marketing, human resources, finance, quality, customer service and business departments. In all, 35 jobs will move to the Cancer Research Center on the campus, which already houses Taconic’s molecular analysis laboratory. Another 28 jobs will move to Taconic’s Germantown facility, where the business was started 65 years ago.

Taconic Biosciences, Inc., is a provider of genetically engineered rodent models for scientific research. Robert K. Phelan founded the predecessor company in his garage in Canajoharie in 1949. By the end of that year, he was shipping 1,000 mice per week.

In 1952 Mr. Phelan bought farmland in Germantown and began the operations of Taconic Farms in one building with six employees. By the end of the year, the average weekly sales were 9,000 mice.

The company continued to grow steadily, changing its name to Taconic Biosciences and moving its corporate headquarters into Hudson in 2005. It now operates three service laboratories and six breeding facilities in the United States and Europe, maintains distributor relationships in Asia and can ship globally to provide animal models almost anywhere in the world. It employs about 775 people worldwide. Three hundred people work at the company’s Germantown facility.

“I’m sad to see them go,” Hudson Mayor Tiffany Martin-Hamilton said Monday, “but I understand their decision.” A letter from the company that went out at about the same time as last week’s press release was the first Ms. Martin-Hamilton had heard of the move.

Hudson’s loss is in part Germantown’s gain. Supervisor Joel Craig sounded pleased Tuesday, but he said that a call from The Columbia Paper was the first he had heard of the uptick in Germantown employees, so he had no comment.

Leaving Germantown does not seem part of the company’s plan. “I have no knowledge of any plans to leave Germantown,” Kelly Owen Grover, director marketing and communication for Taconic said Tuesday. She called the Germantown facility “a specialized location,” adding, “I imagine it would be extremely difficult to relocate. I can’t give a guarantee, but I think it’s a strong, positive sign that we are relocating many people from Hudson to the Germantown site, which is our main production facility.”

As of 2018, the corporate headquarters will be 45 miles, not 11, from the main production facility, but it will be “accessible to all global locations,” according to a press release from the company. It will also be part of the Albany “technology hub” at a site that is home to other players in the pharmaceutical industry, such as Regeneron, Albany Molecular Research, Inc., Albany Medical College and other biomedical organizations.

Taconic already occupies two other buildings on the campus, which house its scientific services business and operations. More than 130 Taconic employees will work on the campus, once the headquarters moves.

One City Centre was built in 1990. Eight Iron Buildings, Inc., has owned it since 2010. A principal of Eight Iron who spoke not for attribution said the plan is to rent the former Taconic space once the company has moved out of it.

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