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NYC On The Hunt For Developers To Build New Life Sciences Campus


New York City is putting up $100M in financial backing for a new life sciences campus, and development teams are now welcome to offer proposals for the project.

Known as the Applied Life Sciences Hub, the campus is the flagship project of the $500M LifeSci NYC initiative Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last year, Crain’s reports.

The city wants developers, academic institutions and biotech companies to submit proposals. Expressions of interest are due by May, according to Crain's, and the city’s Economic Development Corp. is overseeing the development.

“The Applied Life Sciences Hub will help make New York City a true global leader in life sciences and the good, accessible jobs being created in this growing sector,” EDC President and CEO James Patchett told Crain’s. “We envision this hub as a Bell Labs for biotech, a place where the best and brightest spin out new discoveries that turn into new cures and new businesses.”

Along with the $100M, the city will offer three sites it owns, although respondents can suggest privately owned sites.

The city’s parcels include a 300K SF building at 455 First Ave., a 600K SF warehouse at 44-36 44 Drive in Long Island City and a development site at 2469 Second Ave. in East Harlem. The campus will be a minimum of 300K SF, but the EDC will accept proposals for much larger facilities. The life science industry is expanding rapidly in the United States, as the population ages and medical research becomes crucial.

Despite the growing demand, there is a dearth of laboratory spaces in New York City. The city has about 1.7M SF of life science lab space, all of which is completely occupied, Transwestern told Bisnow last year. 

Despite the need — which the city is now trying to meet — only two developments in Manhattan have labs featured in their plans: Alexandria Real Estate's Alexandria Center for Life Science campus on FDR Drive and Taconic Investment Partners and Silverstein Properties' conversion of the Movie Lab building at 619 West 54th St.