A new campus for biotech and pharmaceutical companies on Manhattan's East Side is slated to open in late September.
The Alexandria Center for Science and Technology at East River Science Park will offer scientific firms valuable laboratory space — and, according to its developer and government leaders, help turn New York into a biotech research hub.
Its first tenant, Eli Lilly's cancer treatment division ImClone, will relocate from Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood, just across town.
But the developer, Joel Marcus, says a major European firm has also signed a lease, and other companies are in negotiations. (He says they will be named later this year all at one time.) By the end of the year, he predicted, the first 16-story tower should nearly be full.
The campus, located at 29th Street and the FDR Drive, will also feature a new restaurant, River Park, created by Tom Colicchio, of Craft and 'wichcraft fame. It will be open to the general public as well as to employees in the tower.
“We predicted from the date we delivered the building it would take us three years to stabilize with tenants and we will have beaten that by two years and six to nine months,” Marcus said.
The city and state have pledged hundreds and millions of dollars in potential tax breaks and other types of subsidies for the project on the premise it would generate new jobs and economic activity. Marcus says once the tower is fully occupied, it will house 500 jobs new to New York City.
The city Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman also said the project will reach its goal.
"Eli Lilly and Company has already proven its support for the project and we are confident that, as we move closer to opening, more tenants will follow its lead," she said in a statement.
Marcus, the chief executive and chairman of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, is also planning to build a second tower after he finds an anchor tenant, and has an option to build a third.