University of Maryland NEWS

Office of External Affairs 515 West Lombard Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201-1691 410/706-7820

For Immediate Release January 8, 2004

 

Construction Begins for UMB BioPark

 

Flanked by leaders from the community, government, business, education, and research sectors, officials of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, (UMB) broke ground today on a new biotechnology development called UMB BioPark. The park is located on 4.7 acres of unoccupied land west of Martin Luther King Boulevard, along the north side of the 800 and 900 blocks of West Baltimore Street. Townsend Capital, LLC, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., and Banks Contracting Co., Inc. will develop the first building.

UMB plans to incorporate a business incubator and a collaboration center in the complex, which will include room for private life sciences and biopharmaceutical companies. The BioPark is expected to contain approximately 800,000 square feet of space for research labs, offices, parking, pedestrian walkways, and greenery. The first building, slated for occupancy by December of this year, will feature 120,000 square feet of office and lab space.

"With more than 100 bioscience companies conducting $43 million annually in research at UMB, this park will provide a dedicated facility for these companies and our faculty to collaborate in the commercialization of bioscience innovations," says University President David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil. "First class lab and incubator facilities that attract and retain the most entrepreneurial and innovative faculty are a signature of competitive academic research universities."

UMB currently has over 1,200 researchers studying subjects such as vaccines, the neurosciences, pain management, cancer, and infectious disease. The University received $324 million for health science research and other extramural activities in fiscal year 2003.

"The UMB BioPark will be an important asset in Maryland's health science and biotechnology portfolio. It will provide Baltimore and Maryland with a world class regional research center that will continue to attract the talent and investment capital required to build on the University's existing scientific research in Baltimore and the surrounding area," says Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. "Research parks such as the two envisioned for Baltimore not only provide a nurturing environment for research and development, they also are a major source of job growth and commercial expansion for the communities in which they are located."

Townsend Capital, LLC, of Towson, developed part of the University City Science Center in Philadelphia, which UMB planners used as a model for the UMB BioPark. "It was while the group was studying the science center in Philadelphia that Townsend Capital emerged as a potential developer," says Jim Hughes, vice president of research and development at UMB.

The UMB BioPark is being built with the support of the Village Center of Poppleton, the neighborhood's representative association, whose master plan calls for the land to be used as a "medical corridor." With the build-out of the BioPark over a ten-year period, projected benefits include the creation of 3,000 jobs with an estimated salary of $45,000 annually per job; $714,000 in municipal fees during construction; and $70 million in incremental real property assessment resulting in city real property taxes of $1.4 million before the state Enterprise Zone property tax credit. By year 10, the project should generate $1.4 million in city taxes.

UMB will collaborate with both the Empower Baltimore Management Corp. and the Poppleton community on job training programs for neighborhood residents.

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The University of Maryland, Baltimore is home to the dental school, graduate school, and schools of law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. It is the founding campus of the University System of Maryland.

Contact: Ed Fishel

Phone: 410/706-3801 Pager: 410/471-1735