Lt. Governor Polito Announces Developer for Future Biomanufacturing Site
WBDC will redevelop 44 acres of land on the former Worcester State Hospital Campus as part of the state’s Open for Business Initiative
WORCESTER – Today, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito announced the Worcester Business Development Corporation has been selected to redevelop 44 acres of land on the former Worcester State Hospital Campus into prime bio manufacturing space in Central Massachusetts. The redevelopment of the land is part of the Commonwealth’s ongoing Open for Business Initiative that seeks to redevelop underutilized state assets into productive pieces of our state economy.
The proposed 500,000 square feet of biotechnology facility space in Worcester is expected to attract companies moving from the research sector to commercialization sector of biomanufacturing. At full capacity the new site will have the potential to create over 500+ well-paying jobs in Central Massachusetts.
“Transforming this unused property into a biomanufacturing park is exactly the type of project we envisioned when we launched the Open for Business initiative,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to continuing our work with the city, the region, all stakeholders involved, and the Worcester Businesses Development Corporation to ensure this property brings new jobs, economic growth, and a new community partner for local residents and students.”
Over the course of the last year, several interested parties have been involved in the discussion and eventual development of an action plan for transforming this site. Groups involved in the process include: Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the City of Worcester, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, UMass Medical Center, the Worcester Business Development Corporation, the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, Mass Development, and the local legislative delegation.
“As the original developer of the biotech park, the WBDC has been fortunate to have developed strong partnerships with the State, the City of Worcester, and UMass Medical School throughout the park’s development. This next phase is a great opportunity to expand the park to now include biomanufacturing, a vision that the founders of the park had from the beginning,” said Craig Blais, President & CEO of the Worcester Business Development Corporation. “We will rely on the continued and expanded public/private partnerships to accomplish the goals in Baker-Polito Open for Business Initiative. Worcester is proud to be one of the first regions of the state to develop manufacturing jobs through the Open for Business Initiative.”
“This project capitalizes on Worcester’s strengths – our strong biotechnology sector and world-class medical school, along with our affordability – to create 21st century jobs in the knowledge economy,” said Edward M. Augustus, Jr., Worcester City Manager. “I’m thrilled to be able to thank Lt. Gov. Polito for her leadership in making this project come to life.”
“This is an incredible team effort from the state, city, our legislative delegation and non-governmental agencies. This really fits into the Baker-Polito administration’s desire to take public domain land that has been lying fallow and useless and turning it into something useful and tax-bearing for our communities,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, President of Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives. “Our vision here is to be the poster child for this initiative. We want bio-manufacturing to be a staple of the economy here in Central Massachusetts as well as the entire Commonwealth.”
“We are excited about this project, as it will advance our infrastructure and capacity for advanced biologics manufacturing, supplementing the extraordinary R&D and commercialization capacity that already exists in Massachusetts,” said Travis McCready, President & CEO of the MLSC. “This project will further Massachusetts’ emergence as a completely Integrated ecosystem for the development of new therapeutics, from discovery, right through to commercialization and production, and we’re pleased to see that Worcester will be at the nexus of this growth in advanced manufacturing.”
The Worcester Business Development Corporation has extensive local development experience and has successfully completed notable projects like the Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park, Gateway Park, and Centech Park.
The administration announced the “Open for Business” Real Estate Asset Leveraging (REAL) Strategy in October, 2015 which identifies unused or underutilized Commonwealth properties for redevelopment for affordable or market-rate housing, job creation, reduction in government expenses, increased revenue for the Commonwealth as well as local communities, capital investment in state properties, and open recreational space. Over 40 near-term opportunities throughout Massachusetts and across state agencies and authorities were first highlighted for public-private partnerships, of which 7 are currently under agreement.