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BioRegion Real Estate: Jul 10, 2009


University of Miami Proceeds With $80M First Phase of Life Science Park

The University of Miami is moving ahead with plans to create a 1.4-million-square-foot Life Science Park that campus leaders hope will spark a new biotechnology industry in Miami-Dade County, the Miami Herald reported.

UM has selected a developer for the project's $80 million first phase, with construction set to start this summer. When completed, the university has projected the park will employ 4,500 people and generate $253 million annually in direct and indirect economic activity. Those numbers could swell if the project meets or exceeds UM expectations that it will form the nucleus of a life-sci cluster for Miami-Dade, the newspaper reported.

''We still have a long way to go to catch up with cities like Boston, San Diego and San Francisco,'' Bart Chernow, the project's chief shepherd and UM medical school vice president, told the Herald this week. "But I'm hopeful and cautiously optimistic that we're on our way to make Miami a hub of biotechnology.''

The park will sit on 7.2 acres near Jackson Memorial Hospital and the UM medical school, between Northwest 17th and 20th streets and between Seventh Avenue and Interstate 95 in Miami.

Developer Wexford Science + Technology will build a 200,000-square-foot research and development building at the north end of the site. The six-story building will include labs and offices for biotech tenants and several ground-floor retail spaces. A courtyard ''Rain Garden,'' where workers could gather for lunch, is planned for the project's second phase.

The first building will be ready by the end of next year or early 2011, Wexford Vice President Jospeh A. Reagan Jr. told the Herald. Reagan added that he has spoken with prospective tenants, and is optimistic about signing leases with several of them.

One likely tenant, according to the newspaper, will be the South Florida Proton Center, a $120 million private cancer treatment and research facility set to open in 2012.

"We're already looking at Building Two. There's quite a bit of pent-up demand for life sciences [space], Reagan told the newspaper. ''If everyone who has expressed interest so far signs up, we wouldn't have enough space.''

Reagan discussed the project Wednesday at a forum organized by the city of Miami to introduce small business owners and construction workers to Wexford and the developers and builders of several other planned projects, including the new stadium for the Florida Marlins baseball team.

New Bedford (Mass.) Business Park Wins $1M Federal Grant for Access Road Tied to Expansion

The US Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1 million grant to the city of New Bedford, Mass., and the operator of the New Bedford Business Park, the Greater New Bedford Industrial Foundation, toward the construction of an access road that will open 45 acres of the park to new development.

The grant — to be combined with approximately $1 million secured by US Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton) — will cover most of the project's cost, Tom Davis, executive director of the industrial foundation, told the New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times.

Davis told the newspaper the foundation expects the additional land to draw a major company to the business park, such as a pharmaceutical or biotechnology firm, and create hundreds of jobs — 100 during construction, 500 permanent jobs afterward.

The foundation will likely begin construction in the fall and complete work by the middle of next year, Davis told the Standard-Times. The project would include roadwork, as well as extension of water, sewer, gas, electric and telecommunications services.

The lot is on the western end of the park's New Bedford portion, behind AFC Cable. The 1,000-acre park includes straddles the communities of New Bedford and Dartmouth, Mass.

The 45-acre lot could support a 300,000- to 400,000-square-foot plant or office building, Davis told the newspaper, adding that several companies have already expressed interest in buying large lots for major projects, though the park cannot offer them any land at present.

While inquiries from prospective buyers and tenants slowed down during the latter half of last year and first part of this year, the foundation has boosted its marketing efforts, and there was an increase in leads in June, according to Davis.

That momentum, Davis told the newspaper, should be sustained into next year as a result of the road extension project: "Things are cooking."

Eli Lilly Division Elanco Plans July 13 Groundbreaking for New Corporate HQ in Greenfield, Ind.

Elanco, a division of Eli Lilly, said this week it will formally break ground on a new global headquarters July 13 in Greenfield, Ind., that had been announced last year when the pharma giant announced it was selling its Greenfield operations to contract research organization Covance [BRN, Aug. 11, 2008].

Elanco, which has approximately 2,000 employees worldwide, will anchor a 52-acre business and life sciences park at I-70 and State Road 9 in Greenfield, to be called Progress Park.

"The new Elanco facility will help our economic base continue to diversify into the rapidly growing life sciences sector," Greenfield Mayor Brad DeReamer said in a news release. "The location of this state-of-the-art facility on the city's north side helps open the door for other companies seeking to join Greenfield's emerging growth."

Eklanco said the new HQ will enable it to centralize operations, and save at least $1 million in annual operating expenses.

The new Elanco site and facility will be developed and built by commercial developer Browning Investments. The global headquarters will encompass about 130,000 square feet on about 20 acres. The first project in the new business park, Elanco's new HQ will leave 32 remaining acres for additional development within the campus.

The park, when completed, could accommodate up to 400,000 square feet of business space

Elanco primarily supports livestock health, but also is in the pet health business through Elanco Companion Animal Health.

Altus Exits One Waltham, Mass., Property, Cuts Space in a Second, as Retrenchment Continues

Altus Pharmaceuticals has disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that that it has moved out of the 83,405-square-foot 333 Wyman St. in Waltham, Mass., and will get out of its lease there.

Also, Altus said it will reduce by 24,083 square feet the 63,880 square feet it has rented, and correspondingly by 38 percent, the rent it pays, at a second Waltham property, 610 Lincoln St., which would leave the company with 39,797 square feet.

Leases for both properties end in 2018. Altus has agreed to pay the owner of 333 Wyman more than $1 million as a result, the company said. That payment could increase by another $475,000 by Nov. 2 or earlier if Altus is acquired, merges with another company, or raises more than $25 million in capital, the company disclosed.

The deals are part of a corporate retrenchment that has prompted the company to cut three-quarters of its workforce. Altus eliminated 107 jobs in January and narrowed its focus to an injectable human growth hormone.

Genzyme Expands Framingham, Mass., Presence with New 17,596 Sq. Ft. Lease

Genzyme has signed a new lease for 17,596 square feet of office space in Framingham, Mass., at the 62,000-square-foot 10 California Ave.

The deal expands Genzyme's presence in the suburban town. Last fall, the company opened a $125 million, 180,000-square-foot science center off nearby New York Avenue in the Framingham Technology Park [BRN, Sept. 29, 2008].

Bill Sullivan & Garry Holmes of R.W. Holmes Realty, which announced the lease deal July 9, represented the building owner, while Chris Tosti and Rob Walles of CB Richard Ellis represented Genzyme, which is based in Cambridge, Mass.

Two Life-Sci Expansions in Ireland's County Cork: New Pfizer Lab, New Gilead Financial Center

Two life sciences giants this week announced plans to expand their presences in Ireland's County Cork.

Pfizer will spend €11m ($15.3 million) to develop a new kilo technology R&D laboratory at its active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, manufacturing facility in Ringaskiddy, County Cork, the Industrial Development Agency Ireland announced this week.

The lab will be housed in the site’s existing process development center, and will be designed to research, develop and create new manufacturing technology for more efficient production processes for Pfizer’s facilities around the world, IDA Ireland said.

Pfizer — which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Ireland this year — employs more than 550 people at the Ringaskiddy site. The facility consists of four API bulk pharmaceutical plants producing a range of material for many of Pfizer’s major products. All of the Lipitor active API, and 70 percent of all Lipitor tablets, are produced in Cork by Pfizer, which has eight different operations in Ireland employing a total of 2,000 people.

"The decision to invest in the Cork PDC was based on demonstrated technical competence with similar projects and the successful completion of a number of R&D programs," Paul Duffy, vice president of Pfizer Manufacturing for Ireland and Singapore, said in IDA Ireland's statement.

Gilead said it will create a new financial center for its European businesses in Carrigtwohill, an expansion the company said will lead to the creation of 30 new jobs.

The new European Financial Shared Services Centre will process financial activities for Gilead's operations. Gilead currently employs 125 people at its facility in Carrigtwohill.

Gilead expanded into Carrigtwohill when it bought the Cork manufacturing facilities of Nycomed in 2007, and employs 125 people there at present. Gilead uses those facilities now to manufacture HIV medication at reduced costs for countries in the developing world.

'The decision to choose to locate in Cork was based on our track record of success here, the experience in the region, the availability of skills and the presence of several global international companies,' said Julie O'Neill, Gilead Sciences' general manager in Ireland, in a statement.

Using $2M Indiana Grant, West Lafaytte Nanobiomaterials Developer Begins Tests

Nanovis, a startup developer of nanosurfaced implants and nanostructured biomaterials, has begun initial testing of a bone regeneration technology using a $2 million grant it won last year from the 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. said this week.

The company's technology, which combines nanostructured biomaterials with proprietary bone growth factors, is designed to promote bone growth among patients with a high risk of bone fracture, such as people with osteoporosis and other bone disorders. The technology was jointly discovered by Nanovis and researchers at Purdue University and Brown University.

Nanovis said Tuesday it plans to create up to 42 new research and development jobs as the tissue technology is commercialized over the next three to five years.

Based at the Purdue Research Park at West Lafayette, Nanovis has begun initial testing of its technology, and hired several full and part-time research associates through the state grant. Nanovis is one of 69 businesses awarded a 21st Century Fund grant since January 2006. According to IEDC, the fund has awarded more than $90 million in life sciences and other entrepreneurial companies.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more