No leases have been signed but Halliday told the paper that discussions are under way with a number of prospective tenants, including a specialty chemical company, a renewable materials company, and three MU spin-off companies: Equinosis, VesicaMed, and VeraPulse.
Hilldale Avenue Industrial Park, Pfizer, Iowa Central Community College, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Concordia Manufacturing, University of Missouri Life Science Business Incubator
Haverhill, Mass., Mayor Eyes Life Sciences Users for 44 Industrial Acres
Haverhill, Mass., Mayor James Fiorentini told BioRegion News his city is seeking life sciences users for 44 acres of industrially zoned land within the Hilldale Avenue Industrial Park.
The land has gone undeveloped until now because it lacks access to public water and sewer systems. But that is expected to change soon, since the state recently approved a $1 million grant for infrastructure improvements there under its “Massachusetts Opportunity Relocation and Expansion,” or MORE, program. In addition, the state has designated the property a “priority development site” under Chapter 43D of Massachusetts General Law, which allows developers to secure municipal permits within 180 days.
“We hope to make that park a biotech center. That’s our goal — biotech and green technology,” Fiorentini said in an interview. “We’re going to take our time and research this park and how we should market it — How do we get the word out?’”
One option being considered, he said, is renaming the industrial park, located on the city’s border with Plaistow, NH; drivers must pass through part of Plaistow to get to the park. The park’s selling points include access to Route 125, which links to Interstate 495; as well as the city’s willingness to award abatements on the increment of tax revenue generated by new businesses, tied to job-creation targets.
“We have what very few people in the Northeast have — a whole new industrial park of vacant land, which we think is a phenomenal opportunity for us,” Fiorentini said.
Fiorentini hopes the life sciences user can mesh with the dense cluster of food processing and manufacturing businesses in Haverhill, a 36-square-mile city of 58,969 (2000 US Census) located 35 miles north of Boston. They range from corporate giants like Pillsbury and Nestle, whose prepared foods unit last year snapped up Joseph’s Pasta, the town’s largest employer with 200 jobs; to local Mediterranean food processor Cedar Foods.
The industrial park, on the other hand, has a scant handful of businesses — including a Pella window-making plant, and plastic film and sheeting maker WBC Extrusion Products.
Haverhill hopes not to repeat a mistake of more than a decade ago, when the city created a cyber-district within the downtown. It failed to take off after high-speed Internet service became widely available. “What we want to avoid is what happened in the ‘80s and ‘90s,” he said.
Pfizer to Open New Facility in Cork, Ireland
According to several news reports last week, Pfizer has confirmed that it will open a new biological facility in Ringaskiddy, Cork, Ireland, that is expected to create around 100 jobs.
Pfizer plans to invest around €190 million ($295 million) as part of an overall €353 million ($548 million) expansion at its Cork site.
The company currently employs around 2,300 people in Ireland at sites in Cork and Dublin.
The new plant will manufacture biologics to treat cancer and diabetes and is expected to start operating in 2009.
He said Pfizer had a strong biotherapeutics pipeline with 86 projects in discovery and 26 in preclinical/clinical development, spanning over eight therapeutic areas.
In a separate announcement, Jacobs Engineering Group said that it had received a contract from Pfizer to provide construction management services for the new facility, but did not disclose the value of the contract.
Iowa Central Community College Breaks Ground on Bio-Health Science Center
Iowa Central Community College last week broke ground on its new Bio-Science Health Science Center on the Fort Dodge campus.
Work will begin immediately on the new 34,600-square foot building, as well as a geo-thermal pond that will be used to heat and cool the building, four new parking lots, and a pedestrian plaza. The building will be LEED-certified.
The new facility is scheduled to be opened on July 1, 2009.
Kolacia Construction of Fort Dodge was awarded the general building contract with a bid of $9 million.
Concordia to Expand Rhode Island Medical Manufacturing Operations
The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation said recently it has provided Concordia Manufacturing a $500,000 loan from its Small Business Loan Fund to help the company expand its medical manufacturing operations in the state.
As part of its expansion, Concordia will be leasing a 24,575-square-foot facility located at 60 Commerce Drive, Warwick, RI, for medical manufacturing use.
The total capital cost for the expansion is around $1.6 million, which includes the build-out of expanded clean room space and the purchase of new manufacturing and test equipment.
Concordia currently employs 57 people in Rhode Island. The company said it plans to hire an additional 10 to 15 people within the next 24 months as a result of its expansion efforts.
Report: U of Missouri Life Science Incubator Nears Tenant Agreements
The University of Missouri’s Life Science Business Incubator is “close to reaching agreements with several potential tenants,” Jake Halliday, president and CEO of the Missouri Innovation Center, told the Columbia Business Times last week.
The Missouri Innovation Center will manage the incubator, which aims to support the development of early-stage technology companies linked to the university.
The 33,000-square-foot building is currently under construction.
According to the paper, Halliday said that the Missouri Department of Economic Development recently approved $100,000 in 50 percent Missouri Small Business Incubator Tax Credits to be offered as incentives for private donors to support the incubator in 2008.