Syngenta to Keep Headquarters in Greensboro, Invest $68M in Upgrades

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After considering other cities and states, global agriculture giant Syngenta has decided to keep its North American Crop Protection headquarters in Greensboro, where it will invest $68 million to renovate aging labs and build a new office building to support its 650 employees and 100 contract workers.

“The Syngenta family in Greensboro has been part of the fabric of this community for many decades, and it’s our goal to remain so for many years to come,” said Vern Hawkins, president of Syngenta Crop Protection. “Our new facilities will enable us to have our Greensboro colleagues on this campus working together in modern, efficient facilities, enabling better collaboration and focus to meet our customers’ needs.”

Rendering of Syngenta's new Greensboro facility
Rendering of Syngenta's new 100,000-sq-ft  Greensboro office building. -- Syngenta photos

The company will build a 100,000-square-foot office building to connect with an existing laboratory facility on the north side of its 70-acre campus on Swing Road near Interstate 40. Construction will begin later this year and be completed by 2024.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce, Guilford County and City of Greensboro have offered Syngenta incentives that can reduce future tax liability and offset costs if commitments, including investment and employment, are met. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has also offered a $100,000 Economic Development Award in support of the project and will work with the City of Greensboro and Syngenta in the coming months to negotiate use of the grant.

“We are grateful for the support provided by many community members and leaders in the Greensboro area,” said Hawkins. “Syngenta has worked hard every year to be a good corporate citizen through many employee volunteer efforts and company sponsorships, and we value this active partnership with our community. It’s clear to us the feeling is mutual.”

Aerial rendering of Syngenta's Greensboro campus plan
Aerial rendering of Syngenta's Greensboro campus plan (existing buildings shown as white).

The redeveloped headquarters will include work and conference spaces, health, wellness and fitness centers, a cafeteria, auditorium, coffee areas, and other amenities. In addition, a Customer Experience Center is planned to showcase the company’s products and services.

“Syngenta’s decision to keep its North America headquarters in North Carolina is a testament to the company’s success in our state and underscores their confidence in our dynamic workforce for the next phase of growth,” said Machelle Baker Sanders, secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The company’s renewed commitment to Greensboro retains hundreds of jobs that pay an average salary of $107,000 and constitute a payroll of nearly $70 million.

In early January 2020, Syngenta announced it had begun a comprehensive assessment of aging facilities at the site and options for the future. The campus, with 17 structures, was established in the mid-1960’s and was later acquired by Ciba-Geigy, a forerunner of Syngenta. 

'A notable contributor to North Carolina’s ag tech sector'

“Syngenta’s continued commitment and investment is significant statewide and a strong distinction for the Piedmont Triad region—a notable contributor to North Carolina’s ag tech sector,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of the NCBiotech Piedmont Triad Office. “It’s exciting to have a global thought leader with the best and brightest minds in crop protection right here amidst relevant academic institutions with additional talent and workforce. The company has been vital to not only shaping the future of agriculture globally but also locally through its support of our life sciences community including participation in Triad BioNight, our iconic biennial regional celebration.”

Syngenta was formed in 2000 by the merger of Novartis and Astra Zeneca and has kept the Greensboro site as one of its major workplaces in the United States. Syngenta also has a research and development center in Research Triangle Park that has expanded in recent years.

Globally headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Syngenta consists of Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta Seeds. The parent company, The Syngenta Group, has 49,000 people in more than 100 countries working to transform how crops are grown.

Syngenta was acquired in 2017 by ChemChina, a chemical company owned by the Chinese government, for $43 billion.

Syngenta reported $13.6 billion in global sales in 2019.

Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer
Tue, 03/23/2021 - 12:31