Big news for biotech in Miami: national developer Wexford Science & Technology has topped-off construction of phase one of the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park. The construction milestone brings Miami one step closer to realizing the third leg of its economic stool in the form of the life sciences and technology sector. With delivery anticipated for mid-2011, the UM LSTP is seeing an uptick in tenant interest among knowledge-based research and product development teams seeking to foster innovation and commercialize technology for public use and benefit. See the below story for all the details, courtesy of GlobeSt.com.
By Jennifer LeClaire
Wexford Science & Technology has topped off R&D Building One, the first building in the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park. Under development in Miami’s Health District, One is a six-story, 252,000-square foot building that will house wet and dry labs, offices, lab-ready development suites, and retail space. The University of Miami (UM) Life Science & Technology Park is located on an 8.8-acre parcel bounded by Interstate-95 on the east, NW 7th Avenue on the west, NW 17th Street on the south and NW 20th Street on the north. R&D Building One is scheduled to be completed in mid-2011 and is 40% pre-leased.
“There is a ton of activity,” Richard Schuchts, a senior vice president Jones Lang LaSalle, tells GlobeSt.com. “We definitely found a product type that was badly needed here. The office market offers a lot of space, but this is totally different product. It’s a game changer for Miami.”
UM is the first tenant. The university is leasing 80,000 square-feet of space in the new building. Additional tenants should be announced in the next few months, with a tenant roster including restaurants and retail to serve the Miami Health District and residents of nearby neighborhoods.
“We will start the next building when we are 75 percent to 80 percent leased on R&D Building One,” Joe Reagan, vice president of Wexford Science & Technology, tells GlobeSt.com. “We see building two coming online anywhere between 18 to 24 months after the first building.”
The park’s current master plan includes five buildings offering between 1.6 million and 2 million square feet of space. According to a recent study by the Washington Economics Group, the first building could create more than 1,150 direct and indirect jobs, with an additional 2,700-plus direct and indirect positions created by ongoing operations.
“We are in a pretty narrow niche in terms of life sciences, which has seen a lot of investment through the federal stimulus dollars,” Reagan says. “Miami doesn’t have a comparable product. The international component is something that will also prove a big part of leasing efforts. We’ve been in touch with German companies and companies in Brazil that are interested in Miami as a gateway. That’s what’s going to distinguish the Miami life sciences market from other parts of the U.S.”
In addition to the international advantages, R&D Building One will also appeal to green-minded tenants. The building was pre-certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.