NYCEDC seeks private-sector life sciences anchor tenant at SPARC Kips Bay

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced on February 26 that it’s seeking a private-sector anchor tenant for the Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC Kips Bay), with up to $100 million in city capital available to support development.

This will be a first-of-its-kind life sciences innovation, career, and education hub anchoring New York’s life sciences industry. The anchor tenant will establish and operate a Life Sciences Center in one of the project’s commercial towers. This center could include a translational research institute, corporate innovation campus, non-profit or philanthropy-led research entity, and an innovation hub or accelerator.

The Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) will be released on Monday, March 4.

What is SPARC Kips Bay?

Located at the CUNY Hunter College Brookdale Campus, SPARC Kips Bay will cover nearly 2 million square feet of academic, health care, and life sciences space.

NYCEDC is seeking a “future-focused” anchor tenant for the state-of-the-art space.

“We expect proposals that deliver both leading-edge initiatives to integrate advanced technology and science and deliver a catalytic anchor tenant for the Science Park and Research Campus in Kips Bay,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball.

“The RFEI seeks compelling proposals” focused on translational R&D and commercialization, as well as advancing talent development, said NYCEDC’s announcement. “Respondents are encouraged to take creative license to showcase how they will be a unique, galvanizing, and global leader for life sciences in Kips Bay, New York City, and for the industry.”

The impact on NYC’s life sciences sector

Speaking at the 2024 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) CEO & Investor Conference in New York, Kimball said Kips Bay will be the “premier” life sciences district in the city – which he thinks “in time, can rival Kendall Square in Boston.”

“This project is moving at light speed. It’s extraordinary,” said Kimball. “The Mayor and Governor are in lockstep.”

“The SPARC Kips Bay campus will create more than 12,000 jobs right here in Manhattan and serve as a bridge to the next generation of New York City students as they take on the jobs of the future,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. The ultimate goal of LifeSci NYC is over 40,000 jobs in the next 10-15 years.

SPARC Kips Bay will also include a NYC Health + Hospitals outpatient care and simulation training center, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, three flagship CUNY schools, and a public high school focused on health and science.

NYCEDC is expected to release the developer RFP in 2025, with completion planned for 2030.

NYCEDC is not a city government agency; it’s a non-profit dedicated to strengthening New York City’s economy, neighborhoods, and infrastructure, with a focus on equity. The EDC has led the effort to rebuild all of the city’s public hospitals post-COVID, as well as coastal resiliency, green spaces, and bike lanes, to name a few.

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