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Rolls-Royce eyeing former Lilly campus downtown

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Rolls-Royce Corp. said Monday it will relocate some of its 2,500 office employees to the former Eli Lilly and Co. campus on South Meridian Street downtown if the manufacturer and the pharmaceutical firm can strike a deal.

Discussions are likely to take several months, John J. Gallo, executive vice president of Rolls-Royce’s business operations, said in a prepared statement.

“In Indianapolis, Rolls-Royce has office staff spread across multiple facilities,” he said. “Consolidating office staff in a single location would reduce the overall operating cost to our company and provide a significant boost to our ongoing efforts to create a competitive environment for the future.”

Lilly moved 1,000 employees from its Faris campus on South Meridian Street to its Lilly Corporate Center complex on McCarty Street beginning in late June.

Lilly’s ongoing staff cuts reduced its need for the Faris space, and the company wants to locate its employees on the same campus as part of a new business structure.

Lilly began construction on its $58 million Faris campus in 2001 with development partner Kite Realty Corp. It opened in late 2002. The campus includes the renovated Faris and Brougher buildings, a new 150,000-square-foot office building and a 1,550-space parking garage—all on or near Meridian Street between Merrill and South streets.

The company hired CB Richard Ellis to lease the 465,000 square feet on the Faris campus.

Rolls-Royce’s Indianapolis manufacturing facility employs about 4,300, making the British aerospace firm the city’s second-largest manufacturer behind Lilly.

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