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Have $100M, Looking For Ideas: NYCEDC Begins Search For a NY Bio Campus

If you had $100 million to create an epicenter for New York biotech, what would you do with it?

The New York City Economic Development Corp., a quasi-governmental agency supporting job growth in New York, has put that question to the private sector. The NYCEDC has called for proposals asking a “mission-driven organization or joint venture” how to use up to $100 million and, possibly, some city-owned land to develop what it’s been calling the “Applied Life Science Hub.”

The proposed hub was first mentioned in December 2016 as a critical part of LifeSci NYC, the 10-year, $500 million plan to spur biotech investment in New York City. It’s been an abstraction since; conceptually, a spacious campus connecting venture investors, university researchers, startups, and pharma companies. “It’s a long-term strategic play,” says Doug Thiede, the NYCEDC’s senior vice president of life sciences and healthcare.

Tuesday’s announcement marks the first tangible step forward for the project. The NYCEDC has put $100 million on the table and identified three city-owned sites for the hub: one in Long Island City, another in midtown Manhattan, and a third in East Harlem. All of these sites have logistical issues to resolve before construction could start—tenants that will have to relocate, for instance—so the agency is asking candidates to offer up privately owned sites as well, says NYCEDC vice president of real estate transactional services Joshua Mitchell.

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