Building projects now underway at three research parks in the Baltimore area will add 620,000 square feet of wet lab and research facilities to the region within two years, according to progress reports presented at the GBC’s May 16 bioscience event in Howard County.
Managers of the biopark development projects near the University of Maryland, Baltimore; Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and University of Maryland Baltimore County offered updates on their projects to 50 GBC members who attended the event at the Howard Community College’s Gateway campus.
Specifically, bioscience and technology facilities now under construction include:
- Building Two at the UMB Biopark, a 215,000 square-foot facility targeted to open for occupancy in summer 2007;
- Building One at the Life Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, a 295,000 square-foot facility scheduled for completion in spring 2008;
- 5520 Research Park Drive at the bwtech@UMBC research park, a 110,000 square-foot facility scheduled to open in early 2008.
All three buildings are being financed by private investors. Managers of the three bioparks reported a strong market for life sciences space in the region.
The three projects are focusing more on “collaboration than competition,” said Jack Shannon, president of East Baltimore Development Inc., which is overseeing the massive biopark development and neighborhood revitalization north of Johns Hopkins. With prospective tenants for bioscience space, “if we can get to understand the strengths of the region, they’ll pick one of us,” Shannon said.
Building One, located at 855 Wolfe Street, will house the first of 1.1 million square-feet of research facilities planned for Phase One of the Life Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins. The project will also include 950 new housing units.
On Baltimore’s west side, UMB Biopark’s Building One, which opened in fall 2005, has 13 tenants, including six Maryland start-up companies, three companies that expanded to Maryland, and four service companies, including a bank and a law firm, according to Jim Hughes, vice president of research and development for UMB.
Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation, reported that she is seeing a “real increase in the level of sophistication of companies attracted to our research park.” She noted a “strong market” for life science space at UMBC.
Asked what challenges the region’s life science development efforts could face, Hemmerly noted that the jobs being created in the region as a result of the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process could “absorb” some of the region’s skilled bioscience workers. “In the next few years, we may be having some real challenges in this region, in terms of workforce,” she said.