Second building in planning stage at University of Miami life science park
By Zachary S. Fagenson
The first building in the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park is about six months from completion and developer Wexford Miami is already planning a larger, second building to keep a smooth supply of space on the market.
"We continue discussions with an anchor tenant for a second building," said Joseph Reagan, who heads the project here for Wexford. If no company can be found to fill that role and justify breaking ground, "we'd be pulling that trigger when occupancy [of the first building] hits 55% to 75%."
Wexford doesn't "want a situation where we've leased up all the space in the first building and have no second building," he added.
The $100 million, 252,000-square-foot building most recently landed Palm Beach-based Daya Medicals Inc., which makes over-the-counter skincare products, generic drugs and diagnostic test kits, for a 15,000-square-foot headquarters.
The building is the first in what's to become a multi-building campus housing new and established life sciences and technology companies. The University of Miami hopes discoveries by its doctors and scientists will seed companies that will take up space there.
The building's other tenants include the University of Miami's Tissue Bank, which occupies 50,000 square feet, a 30,000-square-foot "organ procurement organization" and 25,000 square feet of "soft landing space" that offers pre-built offices and laboratories to startups or international companies.
In a September interview, Mr. Reagan said "40% [of the building is] leased at this point, with another 25% in negotiations."
Neither he nor Jones Lang LaSalle Senior Vice President Richard Schuchts would provide much information on pending contracts or a recently signed one, but it's a smaller, more technology-focused company, according to outside spokesperson Aaron Gordon.
The developer opened a leasing office at the first building at 1951 NW Seventh Ave. in Miami toward the end of summer and has "seen a considerable amount of traffic," Mr. Reagan said.
Recent prospects include a Spanish technology company, a Brazilian company in September and a couple from the South Florida area.
"We've had quite a bit of interest in the retail space as well," Mr. Reagan said. Wexford is "hoping to have two different food offerings as well as exercise or fitness" facility.
The park, once complete, is to house about 1.6 million square feet of laboratory and office space in six buildings, each larger than the one preceding it.
The future of the park carries with it the hopes of many civic and business leaders who are betting the life sciences will be the region's next great generator of wealth and jobs.
The park's latest tenant, Daya Medicals, projects it one day will have about 150 employees in Miami-Dade, Mr. Reagan said.
Columbia Universtiy physician visits due soon at Mount
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