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City's 'Science Park' Still Without Tenants

Thursday, July 16, 2009



* correction appended

The first tower of the East River Science Park is expected to open next winter at 29th Street and the FDR Drive in Manhattan. But so far, the developer still hasn't signed any leases with prospective tenants. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

The city and the state have already committed more than $300 million to the developer that's building the science park -- with a stated goal of making New York a hub for the bio tech industry. But with no tenants yet committed, the City Council voted last month to give millions in tax breaks for companies to move in.

Now, two sources involved in the project say, the city has almost convinced the drug company Eli Lilly to take the bait. The sources say 175 employees from Lilly's subsidiary, Imclone, may move to the Science Park -- from Lower Manhattan. Other Lilly employees from NJ and elsewhere may follow.

Update: The $300 million breaks down as follows, according to a city Industrial Development Agency analysis:

$3.5 million from waiver of the mortgage recording tax

$250 million as an exemption from the city building tax ($10 million for each of 25 years)

$12.5 million in direct contributions from the city capital budget

$8.1 million in sales tax exemptions.

There is also an additional $27 million from the state of New York for Infrastructure

* In a previous version of this story, WNYC reported that the developer still hasn’t found a company willing to rent space at the "Science Park." We should have reported the developer still hasn’t signed any leases with prospective tenants, as corrected above.

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