East-side biopark building opening marks ‘milestone’ for city and region

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More than 200 bioscience industry advocates, well-wishers, dignitaries and a marching band celebrated the opening on April 11 of the first bioscience building in East Baltimore’s massive new biopark and neighborhood redevelopment project adjacent to Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

The opening of the 277,000 square-foot John G. Rangos Sr. building marks a “major step forward for a project that will have an economic development impact far beyond its boundaries,” said Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald C. Fry. “This is milestone for our city and region on so many levels.”

“This building is the first step in a process that will eventually add two million square feet of commercial lab and office space within blocks of one of the world’s top bioscience research institutions,” said Fry. “But its impact goes far beyond that. It’s the business anchor for a project that is transforming the quality of life in this community and strengthening the economy of our region.”

The Greater Baltimore Committee played an instrumental role in launching and supporting the project as part of the group’s long-term effort to nurture development of the region’s bioscience industry — a top GBC strategic priority.

The $54 million seven-story building at 855 N. Wolfe Street will house the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cangen Biotechnologies and BioMarker Strategies. It’s the first of three bioscience buildings planned for the 31-acre Phase I of the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, which is being developed by Forest City Science and Technology Group. It is named after philanthropist John G. Rangos Sr., who donated $10 million to Hopkins for biomedical research.

“We are at the forefront of great medical innovation,” Rangos said during a ceremony before the building’s official opening. “Right here in this building, there will be breakthroughs as they eliminate the tyranny of diseases that have plagued mankind.”

Elected officials who spoke at the ceremony included Baltimore City Mayor Sheila Dixon, Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings and John Sarbanes and Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings Blake.

Private-sector speakers included former GBC Vice Chairman Joseph Haskins, Jr., president and CEO of Harbor Bank of Maryland and chairman of East Baltimore Development Inc., the nonprofit managing the biopark’s development. GBC board member Dr. Edward Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine; and former GBC board member Dr. William R. Brody, president of Johns Hopkins University, also delivered remarks at the ceremony.

“This project has been driven by remarkable public and private teamwork and includes a substantial minority business involvement as equity partners,” Fry said. It’s a model for future progress in our city and region.”

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