Press Releases

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Developer To Build Largest Biotech Campus In New York City

New Science Center to Attract Top Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Companies and Create Thousands of New Jobs.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the selection of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. to develop the East River Science Park into the largest commercial bioscience center in New York City. The new 870,000-square-foot-facility, which will be built on a City-controlled site on Bellevue’s campus that the City will lease to Alexandria, is expected to jumpstart the City’s commercial bioscience sector by attracting the world’s leading healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, and providing needed expansion space for the City’s existing companies. The privately-financed, $700 million project is expected to create more than 2,000 permanent jobs and 4,000 construction jobs over the next 10 years. The total economic impact of ongoing operations of the development project is expected to be more than $350 million a year. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew M. Alper, Health & Hospitals Corporation Acting President Alan D. Aviles, Bellevue Hospital Executive Director Linda Curtis, Alexandria CEO Joel S. Marcus, and Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, the City’s leading business group that committed up to $10 million toward the project through its New York City Investment Fund, also attended the event.

“Since the beginning of our Administration, a key component of our economic development strategy has been to diversify New York City’s economy and create new jobs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The development of the East River Science Park will help us accomplish that goal by transforming New York City, already a leading center of bioscience research, into one of the nation’s primary commercial bioscience clusters as well. This state-of-the-art facility will allow us to take advantage of our enormous scientific base and world-class research institutions to attract both start-up firms and established bioscience companies to New York City.”

“Today is the culmination of a three year effort by our Administration to capitalize on the enormous life science assets we have in New York City and grow our bioscience industry,” said Deputy Mayor Doctoroff. “Building this world-class facility will help us attract top companies, create valuable jobs and make our City the bioscience capital of the world. I want to commend the staff at EDC, led by President Alper, for moving forward expeditiously with plans to develop the East River Science Park.”

“Despite our tremendous scientific assets, New York City has never captured its fair share of the commercial bioscience industry,” said EDC President Alper. “The development of the East River Science Park will help us reverse this trend by offering companies room to expand right here in the City. Developing a commercial biotech cluster will allow our institutions to forge stronger ties with the bioscience industry, help our academic institutions attract top talent and create many new high-paying jobs.”

The East River Science Park will capitalize on its prime East River location and its proximity to many prominent healthcare institutions such as Beth Israel, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mount Sinai, New York University (NYU) Medical Center, Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell. EDC issued a Request for Proposals in November 2004 to develop the City-owned site, located in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood on the northern portion of the Bellevue Hospital Center, just south of NYU between East 28th and 29th Streets, and First Avenue and the FDR Drive.

In the project’s first phase, Alexandria will build two laboratories and office towers totaling 542,000 square feet of space. The first 242,000-square-foot building on the site’s southeast corner just north of Bellevue’s hospital tower will include 14 floors of laboratory and related office space, a conference center and café. The developer plans to start the second 300,000-square-foot building four months after construction of the first building begins. This second building will be located on the site of the obsolete Bellevue laundry building, and will include laboratory and office space for early-stage companies, additional office space for bioscience venture capital firms and street-level retail. The plan also calls for a glass-enclosed retail area with 43,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space, including a riverfront esplanade. The developer will build a parking garage below the two buildings to accommodate 520 parking spaces, with 400 reserved for Bellevue. Alexandria plans to break ground in 2006, with initial tenant occupancy of the first building in 2008 and the second building in 2009.

The project’s second phase calls for a 330,000-square-foot laboratory and office building located on a parcel of land north of the site. Construction of this building can only begin after the site is vacated by the City’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Additional open space and 200 more parking spaces are also planned for this phase.

Alexandria is a leading real estate investment trust focused principally on the development and acquisition of properties with office and laboratory space. Alexandria focuses on the principle of “clustering,” with assets and operations strategically located in all major life science hubs. Alexandria’s clients consist of some of the world’s leading edge research and commercial entities, such as universities and not-for-profits, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, life science product, service, biodefense research entities and government agencies. Alexandria owns and operates 127 properties comprising more than 8.2 million square feet of office and laboratory space.

“We are honored to be partnering with the City of New York and the other key stakeholders, and to be the vanguard for the creation of the first commercial life science cluster location within the heart of Manhattan,” said Alexandria CEO Joel S. Marcus. “Alexandria is proud to be the designated developer for this truly unique and innovative commercial life science destination. Together with the City, EDC and the New York healthcare community, we look forward to carrying out the vision of forming a bioscience community that will be equipped with all of the components to foster the great medical discoveries of the future.”

New York City’s initiative to grow its bioscience sector is led by EDC’s Client Services division, established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2002 to serve as a much-needed link between the City and the business community. So far, EDC’s bioscience group has met with more than 350 companies, including many of the top global pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia to encourage them to locate, expand and invest in New York City. In addition, the agency has developed a marketing campaign to emphasize the City’s existing bioscience assets and to recruit companies to anchor several possible bioscience developments in the City. New York City and the surrounding region are home to extraordinary academic medical research and healthcare assets. These include 25 medical research institutions, more than 70 hospitals, 40,000 physicians, 128 Nobel Laureates, and more than $1.3 billion a year in research funding from the National Institutes of Health. New York is home to more than 90 bioscience companies and two biotech incubators, and more than 30 new biotechnology companies are launched in the City each year.

The New York City Investment Fund, the economic development arm of the Partnership for New York City, has committed $10 million in funding to support the East River Science Park. The Fund has worked closely with the Bloomberg Administration to encourage development of the City’s bioscience industry. It has organized a consortium of the City’s top academic medical research institutions, as well as prominent venture capitalists, bankers and private equity investors to support this project and other initiatives to generate jobs in the bioscience sector.

“Today’s announcement of Alexandria Real Estate Equities as the developer of the East River Science Park is the culmination of a highly competitive process that demonstrates that New York is finally emerging as a world center for commercial bioscience,” said Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City. “We look forward to working closely with the City and the developer to ensure the success of this project.”


Press Release Subscription

Subscribe to have the latest NYCEDC press releases delivered to your inbox.

Contact Info

Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958

Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523

Brad Hoylman (Partnership) (212) 493-7484