Baltimore set to get 450,000 square feet of new lab space this spring

This spring, Baltimore will gain more than 450,000 square-feet of bioscience lab and office space as each the city’s two developing bioscience and technology parks opens a new building, managers of the two parks announced at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s first bioscience event of year on January 15.

In March, the UMB BioPark on the city’s west side will open its second building, a 220,000 square-foot facility on West Baltimore St. In April, The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins will open its first bioscience building, a 277,000 square-foot facility at 855 N. Wolfe Street.

Meanwhile, the region’s third research park, bwtech@UMBC, is scheduled to open a 100,000 square-foot IT and data center at UMBC’s Catonsville campus in December 2008.

At the GBC’s January 15 event, held at UMB’s Health Sciences Facility II representatives of the region’s three science and technology parks updated more than 75 GBC members and bioscience advocates on progress at their facilities. Development of the region’s bioscience business sector is one of the top strategic priorities of the GBC.

The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins will anchor a massive neighborhood revitalization on Baltimore’s east side.

Baltimore’s New EastSide will eventually comprise of an 88-acre, $1.8 billion urban redevelopment effort that combines significant new business activity with new housing and a high level of human services, said Jack Shannon, president and ceo, East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI). The Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, a joint venture between Forest City Enterprises and Presidential Partners, a locally owned minority equity partner, and EBDI, are developing the 31-acre first phase.

There will ultimately be two million square feet of research facilities and the community will have 2,200 new or renovated homes for mixed-income buyers and renters, including town homes, duplex homes, apartments and senior housing, he said.

Meanwhile, EBDI leaders also back a plan for a new Hopkins-area MARC commuter train station at the north end of the project.

Phase one of the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins will feature 1.1 million square feet of lab and office space in five buildings, green space and parks, residential, and retail, said Michael Rosen, senior vice president, new business development, Forest City Science + Technology Group.

Some of the initial tenants are Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences (IBBS), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Cangen Biotechnologies, Inc., and a cancer diagnostic company BioMarker Strategies.

We need to use urban density to our advantage, said Rosen. The vision for east Baltimore is “transformational” with 850 units of different structured mixed housing, Rosen said. The four additional research buildings will have wet labs, office space, contract research organization, space for engineering, and bioinformatics, Rosen added.

Johns Hopkins University is an “intellectual magnet” and is among the nation’s premier life science research and educational institutions, said Rosen. Getting information from Hopkins and transferring it to the companies is key. Foreign pharmaceutical companies in India, Israel, and Japan are great targets to have in Maryland, he said.

Meanwhile, the University of Maryland, Baltimore UMB BioPark is being built on 10 acres of land on the 800 and 900 blocks of West Baltimore Street. Once completed, the project will include 10 buildings containing 1.2 million square-feet of lab and office space, parking garages, and landscaped parks. The development team includes Banks Contracting Company, Colliers Pinkard, Gaudreau Inc., Wexford Science+Technology, and Whiting Turner Contracting Company.

More than 120 of the world’s leading bioscience and pharmaceutical companies conduct 250 clinical trials and research projects each year at UMB, as well as 140 pharmaceutical and biotech companies are sponsoring UMB research, said Hughes. In FY 2007, $411 million in sponsored biomedical research was conducted at UMB.

UMB BioPark’s Building Two on 801 West Baltimore Street will open in March 2008, has six stories, totaling 220,000 square feet, is 50 percent leased, and will include the BioInnovation Center space for early stage companies. Building Three, set for 180,000 square feet, will open Summer 2009. Building Four, scheduled to begin construction this summer and opening in 2010, will be 120,000 square feet and will include a new Maryland Forensic Center, he said.

UMB BioPark’s bioscience tenants include: Acidophil, LLC, Alba Therapeutics, FASgen, LLC, Gliknik Inc., IRAZÚ BioDiscovery, LLC, Paragon Bioservices, and SNBL Clinical Pharmacology Center, added Hughes. Service tenants include Café Gourmet, Harbor Bank of Maryland, Miles & Stockbridge P.C., University of Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center, and a university athletic center.

A more suburban project just five minutes from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is the University of Maryland Baltimore County bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, a 41-acre research and technology community. The research park site plan includes five buildings, said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director, UMBC Research Park Corporation.

The 500,000-square-foot bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park houses 50 companies and includes an incubator, accelerator and research park. UMBC’s business Incubator and Accelerator has UMBC training, technology, and biotechnology centers, said Hemmerly. A new bwtech@UMBC 4-story 5520 Research Park Drive building is 110,000 square feet and designed by Gaudreau architects.

Erickson Retirement Communities is developing a $20 million building, 5525 Research Park Drive, expected to be completed in 2008, said Hemmerly. Erickson will move its information technology department, adult living national broadcast network Retirement Living TV and private charitable foundation to the 100,000 square-foot building. The move will increase research collaboration and internship opportunities between the Erickson organization and UMBC students and faculty in The Erickson School and visual arts, communications and information technology programs, as well as create 300 new jobs, she said.

Hemmerly noted that an economic impact study of the techcenter and research park that was conducted in November 2006 revealed that bwtech supports more than 841 direct jobs at the two facilities. This also supports more than 2,000 total jobs statewide and generates $2.1 million in income and property taxes for counties in the Baltimore region.

Bioscience in Baltimore 

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