The pharmaceutical company bought this building next to its new construction, seen in the background. Photo by Mike Diegel.
United Therapeutics has purchased the building at 8808 Cameron St. in Silver Spring, next to its construction site at the corner of Cameron and Spring streets.
The company currently has no specific plans for the building, according to Avi Halpert of UT’s corporate real estate department.
“We always seem to have a need for swing space and new little groups that start up,” he said. “It might just be a little UT incubator until we have a real need, but there’s always something that comes up.
“It was an opportunity and we took it, but again, someone in one of our divisions could say, ‘I have a new group coming in here and we’d like to find them their own little home,’” Halpert added. “It’s a nice 10,000-square-foot building, and we give them the keys to the front door and they can do their own work. It’s all about economic development, it’s all about creating high-paying jobs here in the county.”
One of the current occupants of 8808 Cameron is the Conference of Major Superiors of Men is “the canonically recognized pontifical conference organized to promote the welfare of all religious priests, brothers, and candidates in the United States,” according to its website.
The other is the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, described on its website as “the association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States.”
“They’re downsizing and we’ve been friends for as long as I’ve been here, close to 13 years,” Halpert said. “It’s logical to come to your next-door neighbor when you’re ready to sell.”
The groups will stay another six months or so before moving to different locations.
“They come over and knock on [our] door if they need anything,” Halpert said. “That’s been our relationship for the last 12 years. We installed new lights; we’ve been taking care of their snow shoveling, parking, landscaping [and] trash removal for the last six years [at no charge].
“They’re a nice group and [doing] wonderful, charitable stuff,” he continued, adding they approached UT with the offer to sell. UT purchased the building for about $2.6 million.
In the meantime, Halpert expects to deliver the new, $26 million building at Cameron and Spring in October.
While it will be a manufacturing facility for drugs targeting rare cancers, the company won’t be able to begin manufacturing or start new drug trials until the Federal Drug Administration has inspected and approved the building; Halpert hopes will happen in about 18 months.
At the same time, Halpert said, the company will begin moving people into the new Unisphere at the corner of Colesville Road and Spring Street in August.