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Developer to Expand NYC’s East Side Biotech Presence

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Manhattan’s east side is trying to diversify and modernize by bringing a big life sciences campus to life. The project, already in progress, needs one more tower, and that third tower looks like it’s coming now that an agreement with the city has been made to raise the money needed for the project that could cost over $700 million to erect, according to Crain’s.

The final tower will not only complete the complex but will expand the size from the original plans up to around 550,000 square feet, up from 420,000 square feet. Alexandria Real Estate Equities is handling the development and is working with the city’s Economic Development Corporation to make it happen.

Alexandria will start putting up the building in 2020 and plans to have the project completed by 2022. The biotech campus that’s getting this third tower can be found at East 29th Street close to the East River. Alexandria hopes it can bring its west coast innovation from Pasadena to the island of Manhattan with the Alexandria Center for Life Science. There will be office and event space along with restaurants. The properties are already home to notable tenants in the industry, like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche. The location has also provided other startups and researchers with the facilities they need.

Joel Marcus, the executive chairman and founder of Alexandria, is excited about the kind of need for space he sees from the number of companies eager to get a space in the center.

“We have demand from existing tenants so we don’t have to worry about finding an anchor tenant anymore,” Marcus said. “With this agreement, the project will now move forward with rapid speed.”

Alexandria’s website describes it as a company that began as a garage startup looking to shake up the way the life sciences industry works.

The website said that its company’s name comes from Alexandria, Egypt, the scientific capital of the ancient world, best known for a lighthouse whose beacon today still makes people think of how important it is to pursue the sciences.

Over the last 24 years the company has brought its services to more heavily populated areas.

Alexandria had gone against analysts’ expectations for big expansion for biotech companies by resisting the addition of more office space.

“There’s not lines for lab spaces in New York City yet like there is in places like Cambridge,” Marcus said. Now that he sees more demand, the company is changing its perspective.

“There’s been about $750 million in venture capital that have gone into firms here in the last few years,” Marcus said, adding that “it’s a long gestation process for the industry to gain a foothold here but we’re making fabulous progress.”

By: Dennis Skye

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