Real Estate Development
“The development of the East River Science Park… will allow us to take advantage of our enormous scientific base and world-class research institutions to attract both start-up firms and established bioscience companies to New York City.”
Former Mayor of New York City
August 10, 2006
East River Science Park
(now Alexandria Center for Life Science)
Nancy J Kelley was a leader for the Alexandria Real Estate Equities team in a highly competitive selection process to develop the East River Science Park established by New York City. The East River Science Park (now, Alexandria Center for Life Science) was envisioned as an urban life science campus encompassing approximately 3.5 acres comprising approximately 1.1 million sq ft of life science space. This campus was designed to attract and foster collaboration among a diverse spectrum of entities in the life science sector, from start-ups to pharmaceuticals.
The original design and development included two phases: Phase I included two towers totaling 725,000 square feet, with laboratories, conference center, river side restaurant, cafe, fitness center and landscaped science park with East River views; and Phase II, an additional multi-use, multi-story lab/office building totaling 330,000 square feet.
Funding for the project came from a variety of sources. In addition to the estimated $700 million invested by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, the city of New York provided about $13.4 million in capital funds for the project and New York state provided $27 million to be used for infrastructure work in connection with the project. The New York Economic Development Corp. (EDC) contributed $500,000 to the project, and approximately $5.6 million in funding came through the New York City Industrial Development Agency. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration provided $2 million for the reconstruction of East 28th Street, intended to support the project. New York City’s business community also contributed, through the New York City Investment Fund and Partnership for New York City, which committed to invest up to $10 million in capital to be used for tenant improvements. View Alexandria Center for Life Science website
At the time, Nancy J Kelley described the development this way:
“East River Science park will be a multi-use commercial life science campus dedicated to translational innovation and synergy within New York’s larger scientific community, ultimately resulting in the acceleration of medical breakthroughs from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside. Our design provides a comprehensive, architecturally interesting urban vision for a ‘Science Park in the City’ that is sensitive to the adjacent neighborhood and creates new, vibrant civic spaces that will attract people to the site.”
“Together, these elements will combine with Alexandria’s vision to create an internationally recognized center which will be a striking environment acting as a hub of scientific and public activities that will support the discovery of leading-edge treatments, resulting in significant improvements in human health care and overall improved quality of life.”
—New Life for New York, Building Construction & Design, Winter Issue, 2010. Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Selected to Develop New York City’s Pre-Eminent Commercial Life Science Center, PR Newswire, Aug 10, 2005.
“Nancy J. Kelley was instrumental in nurturing the New York Genome Center from an idea to a reality, to the inestimable benefit of scientific research and New York City.”
NYGC Board of Directors
The New York Genome Center
Nancy J Kelley oversaw the selection and build out of the New York Genome Center’s permanent facility at 101 Avenue of the Americas in New York City which opened in September, 2013. The facility serves as a state-of-the-art hub for genome sequencing, analytics, bioinformatics, high-performance computing and research.
The space was designed with an emphasis on spatial flexibility and collaboration. Labs are furnished almost entirely with mobile, height-adjustable lab benches that allow easy reconfiguration as new methods, techniques or research directions demand it. The office areas feature open workstations, a variety of inviting, media-supported meeting spaces, a locally managed employee café, conference center and auditorium, a roof garden and “communicating staircases between floors to encourage collaboration among the staff and the NYGC’s partners throughout the facility.
The build-out of the space cost $47 million, raised from a variety of public, private and philanthropic sources.
The facility’s features include:
- Over 170,000 square feet, including 30,000-square-feet of sequencing lab space
- A dedicated open-plan bioinformatics floor to encourage discussion and collaboration
- A data storage annex to safely store the immense amounts of data produced
- Research labs with space to host a number of principal investigators and their teams from various member institutions
- An Innovation Lab to develop new sequencing technologies
- A CLIA/CLEP lab to service clinical needs
- A modern, divisible conference center/event space with the capacity to hold 180 people for both NYGC and external events
- Learn more about the features here
“Please accept my thanks for the development of McLean Hospital land… Our collaborative effort with the Town over the past three years was the right approach to negotiating a development plan with benefits for both the Town and McLean Hospital. We take great pride in the open and direct planning process we pursued with the people of Belmont.”
Bruce M. Cohen, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
The McLean Hospital Redevelopment
McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, is the largest psychiatric teaching facility of Harvard Medical School, an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of the Partners HealthCare System. McLean’s facilities occupy about 50 acres of its 240-acre site, which was selected for McLean by the distinguished landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted.
McLean Hospital sought to redevelop its property, which represented 8% of the total size of the town of Belmont. The McLean Hospital Task Force was appointed by the Board of Selectmen to represent the Town’s interests in the McLean Hospital Land Use planning process. Nancy J Kelley was elected to chair the Task Force.
The McLean Task Force presided over an intensive two and one-half year process involving public education, establishment of Town goals and objectives, analysis of development proposals, negotiation with McLean Hospital over project impacts and benefits and creation of zoning and related legal documentation.
Nancy J Kelley chaired over one hundred educational sessions, public meetings, public hearings and other public forums during the course of this time, often fielding negative public commentary resulting from the anger and concerns of citizens related to the development.
The work of the Task Force was ultimately endorsed through support of the land use plan by a unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen, by a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting and a vote of 69% of the Town’s electorate. The Belmont Citizen-Herald and the Boston Globe both endorsed the plan.
In addition to continued use by McLean of its current facilities, the plan:
- Set aside 140 acres, or 90% of currently undeveloped land on the site, as permanently protected open space, connected with the MA Audubon Society’s Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary and with the state’s Beaver Brook and Rock Meadow reservations. This open space provided a critical link in the Western Greenway, a six-mile corridor from Belmont to Waltham.
- Permitted 1.2 million square feet of development with a value of $300 million, including
- 122 residential units,
- a 482-unit senior housing complex to be developed by the American Retirement Corporation, and
- a 150,000 square foot research and development office building.
- Provided municipal burial space to the Town of Belmont, created an historic preservation plan that called for McLean Hospital to be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.
The value of the benefits to the Town of Belmont were estimated at approximately $75 million.
Learn more about the project:
Proclamation from the Board of Selectmen, Town of Belmont, to Nancy J Kelley. April 26, 2000.
Review of McLean Hospital’s Redevelopment Proposal by the Consultant Team to the Town of Belmont’s McLean Hospital Land Use Task Force. Chair, McLean Hospital Land Use Task Force. February 26, 1999.
Preliminary Review of McLean Hospital’s Redevelopment Proposal by the Consultant Team to the Town of Belmont’s McLean Hospital Land Use Task Force. Chair, McLean Hospital Land Use Task Force. May 22, 1998.
Life Science Real Estate Industry Drivers and Analysis
Alchemy, 2004: Annual Review and Analysis of Real Estate Trends in the Life Science Industry. Editor, Senior Vice President and Managing Director. Spaulding & Slye Colliers and Colliers International. First of its kind Global Life Sciences Real Estate Report intended to assist decision makers from biotech and pharmaceutical companies along with research and health care institutions, to speed scientific advances from bench to bedside. 2004.
Elements, 2007: Annual Review and Analysis of Real Estate Trends in Life Science Industry. Editor and Chief Researcher. Follow on to Alchemy Report. Published by Colliers International. 2007.