LifeSci NYC initiative puts $100 million, 300,000 square feet up for grabs

Long Island City, pictured, is home to one of several city-owned sites available for use as part of the city's proposal for a new life sciences hub.
Long Island City, pictured, is home to one of several city-owned sites available for use as part of the city’s proposal for a new life sciences hub. Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

The city is looking to invigorate the life sciences sector with a new research and development hub.

The city Economic Development Corporation released a request for proposals Tuesday, outlining its goal of working with a partner to create a hub with at least 300,000 square feet of customizable wet lab and other work space.

The Economic Development Corporation wants a large research and development organization to anchor the hub, which it envisions offering enough space to accommodate tenants that are — ideally — venture-capital-backed-and-growing, while also fostering collaboration. Applicants may be affiliated with academic institutions, but the city does not want the bulk of tenants to be engaged in basic, academic research.

“The Applied Life Sciences Hub has the potential to vault New York City into the forefront of this growing industry,” Alicia Glen, the city’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, said in a statement. “We are excited to begin this partnership with researchers, innovators and institutions so we can spur the breakthroughs and jobs that will help define our city for decades to come.”

The government is offering up to $100 million in capital funding for the project, as well as use of city-owned sites in East Harlem, Kips Bay and Long Island City. But interested organizations are expected to leverage significant private and philanthropic investments, and are encouraged to suggest private properties in their proposals, which are due in May, the Economic Development Corporation said.

City Hall envisions the Applied Life Sciences Hub as the marquee of its LifeSci NYC initiative, a 10-year, $500 million commitment to shoring up the city’s life science industry. LifeSci NYC is expected to help generate 16,000 jobs and add up to 3 million square feet of space for the industry.