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Lilly First Tenant in Science Center

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A science complex under construction along the East River got its first official tenant yesterday. The research division of drug company Imclone Systems will take over four floors once the first tower is completed next summer. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: Mayor Bloomberg has said the East River Science Park will help make New York a global leader in biotech. But its first tenant, Imclone, will just be moving across town. Its 125 researchers now work in Lower Manhattan. Still, Mayor Bloomberg maintains the names Imclone and its parent company, Eli Lilly, have drawing power.

BLOOMBERG: By being here they will attract others, by being here they will be able to grow where they couldn't do it elsewhere.

REPORTER: Lilly CEO John Lechlinger, says its an "open question" how much the division will expand in its new digs. Wednesday's lease represents about 10 percent of the space the science park will provide once it's fully built out. The state and the city have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and direct aid for the project. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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