The former Bronx Development Center, a facility for childrenwith disabilities located in the Pelham Bay area of the northeastBronx, was purchased in July for $3.65 million from the EmpireState Development Corp., the state's real estate unit. The RichardMeier-designed building, which won many awards but reportedlyrequired numerous upgrades to meet safety standards, was earmarkedfor redevelopment as a high-tech center for bioscience firms.

Building owner Simone Development Co. announced yesterday thatthe 18.5-acre complex can immediately be turned into office spaceto accommodate displaced companies. "We are still at a point thatis early enough in our redevelopment plans that we can shiftgears," says company president Joseph Simone. "If it helps to makeoffice space available we can do that and have the space up andrunning very quickly for businesses that need it. At the same time,if we can keep businesses in New York City that helps both theindividual businesses and the overall economy."

The building comprises a complex of several interconnectedstructures and features conference facilities, a basketball courtand an indoor swimming pool. Scheduled improvements include aglass-and-steel façade, a parking lot for 1,400 vehicles, systemupgrades and a new access road from the Hutchinson River Parkwaythat will provide direct access to the site.

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