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Merck consolidates New Jersey operations at ‘reimagined’ headquarters in Rahway

Merck is back home again in Rahway, New Jersey, at the site that it established 90 years ago as Merck Research Laboratories.

After being headquartered for eight years seven miles to the north in Kenilworth and before that for 23 years in Whitehouse Station, 35 miles to the west, Merck has returned to its “reimagined” Rahway facility.

The site, which sits on 200 acres and spills into the town of Linden, has grown from a single manufacturing plant to 100 buildings. The upgraded complex includes a multipurpose auditorium, additional parking and the FLEx Center—a $450 million learning and manufacturing facility.

Chairman and CEO Rob Davis and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy led the ribbon-cutting ceremony under cloudy skies Tuesday morning in front of the historic building, the birthplace of many of Merck’s most crucial scientific breakthroughs.

Rahway is where Merck’s “ongoing journey of innovative biopharmaceutical research and development began,” Davis said at the event. “A century later, we begin a new chapter of discovery and hope for all humanity.”

The move allows Merck to combine its New Jersey operations into one facility. In addition to bringing employees together from Kenilworth and Whitehouse Station, others come from nearby sites in Madison and Branchburg.

Merck announced its consolidation to Rahway in 2020 in an effort to “bring all of our divisions together to create a modern, neighborhood-based environment centered around science and innovation,” Sharon Rose, the facilities lead for the campus, said during the ceremony.

Before moving to Rahway in 1933, Merck operated out of Manhattan. The move to New Jersey and its spacious facility helped establish the company as a global R&D force.

More than 6,000 employees will be based at the Rahway site, Murphy said, citing Merck’s role in helping boost the state as a “global pharmaceutical hub.”

“The companies of tomorrow are deciding to not only locate here but to stay and grow here as we continue to cultivate our burgeoning innovation economy,” Murphy said.