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NEW YORK CITY-The owner of a 330,000-sf Bronx office complex is changing its redevelopment plans for the property in response to the World Trade Center attacks.

The former Bronx Development Center, a facility for children with disabilities located in the Pelham Bay area of the northeast Bronx, was purchased in July for $3.65 million from the Empire State Development Corp., the state’s real estate unit. The Richard Meier-designed building, which won many awards but reportedly required numerous upgrades to meet safety standards, was earmarked for redevelopment as a high-tech center for bioscience firms.

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

The building comprises a complex of several interconnected structures and features conference facilities, a basketball court and an indoor swimming pool. Scheduled improvements include a glass-and-steel façade, a parking lot for 1,400 vehicles, system upgrades and a new access road from the Hutchinson River Parkway that will provide direct access to the site.

Simone says the property “can be easily adapted to any modern office use.”We’re making it available and if we find the users then we’re willing to go general office use instead of the specific biotech track we were on.” The building is located directly off the Hutchinson River Parkway and interstate 95 and is accessible to public transportation.

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