May 30, 2006

NYC to spur bioscience jobs

By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said
on Tuesday the city will finalize a lease for an East River
Science Park in the next few months, joining other cities and
states in the race to attract high-paying bioscience jobs.

The Republican mayor said the city's 11 renowned teaching
hospitals, 90 life science companies and 128 Nobel Prize
winners will help it become a leading center in this rapidly
growing field, which is viewed as the dot-com industry's

"It's the next wave in sustainable economic development,"
said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the Denver-based
National Conference of State Legislatures.

Biosciences will help diversify the city's economy, which
now relies so heavily on Wall Street, the mayor said.

He announced that one bioscience firm, Clinilabs, Inc., a
privately held medical research company that conducts clinical
trials used to develop new drugs, has invested about $2.7
million in a new building in midtown. More than 100 employees
will work in the new building.

New York City owns the land for the new science park, where
Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. plans a $700 million,
870,000-square-foot building expected to help create 2,000
permanent jobs.

The privately financed building will be located just north
of the city's historic Bellevue Hospital Center, from 28th to
29th streets, according to Andrew Brent, a spokesman for the
city's Economic Development Corp.

New York State is expected to provide at least $24 million
to improve infrastructure, while the city has committed $10
million for this purpose, Brent added.

New York City will be competing with other cities and
states that also see biosciences as the next hot ticket.

For example, Aurora, Colorado, just south of Denver, is
turning the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center into a hospital and
research complex, Perez noted. Congress put the base on its
shutdown list in 1995, and the first of six new bioscience
buildings opened in 2000, part of a two-decade plan, according
to the Web site:

The economy of North Carolina, famed for its research
triangle, got another kick-start in February when ground was
broken on a new 311,000-square-foot building for offices and
labs located in Kannapolis, just north of Charlotte.

The project is funded by a $150 million donation from David
Murdock, who owns Castle & Cooke, Inc. and Dole Food Co., Inc.