MIAMI-Wexford Science & Technology has topped off R&DBuilding One, the first building in the University of Miami LifeScience & Technology Park. Under development in Miami's HealthDistrict, R&D One is a six-story, 252,000-square foot buildingthat will house wet and dry labs, offices, lab-ready developmentsuites, and retail space.

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The University of Miami (UM) Life Science & Technology Parkis located on an 8.8-acre parcel bounded by Interstate-95 on theeast, NW 7th Avenue on the west, NW 17th Street on the south and NW20th Street on the north. R&D Building One is scheduled to becompleted in mid-2011 and is 40% pre-leased.

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"There is a ton of activity," Richard Schuchts, a senior vicepresident Jones Lang LaSalle, tells GlobeSt.com. "We definitelyfound a product type that was badly needed here. The office marketoffers a lot of space, but this is totally different product. It'sa game changer for Miami."

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UM is the first tenant. The university is leasing 80,000square-feet of space in the new building. Additional tenants shouldbe announced in the next few months, with a tenant roster includingrestaurants and retail to serve the Miami Health District andresidents of nearby neighborhoods.

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"We will start the next building when we are 75 percent to 80percent leased on R&D Building One," Joe Reagan, vice presidentof Wexford Science & Technology, tells GlobeSt.com. "We seebuilding two coming online anywhere between 18 to 24 months afterthe first building."

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The park's current master plan includes five buildings offeringbetween 1.6 million and 2 million square feet of space. Accordingto a recent study by the Washington Economics Group, the firstbuilding could create more than 1,150 direct and indirect jobs,with an additional 2,700-plus direct and indirect positions createdby ongoing operations.

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"We are in a pretty narrow niche in terms of life sciences,which has seen a lot of investment through the federal stimulusdollars," Reagan says. "Miami doesn't have a comparable product.The international component is something that will also prove a bigpart of leasing efforts. We've been in touch with German companiesand companies in Brazil that are interested in Miami as a gateway.That's what's going to distinguish the Miami life sciences marketfrom other parts of the U.S."

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In addition to the international advantages, R&D BuildingOne will also appeal to green-minded tenants. The building waspre-certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and EnvironmentalDesign) Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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