GREENBURGH, NY-Despite a driving rainstorm, BioMed Realty Trust Inc. of San Diego broke ground Thursday on a new 360,000-sf headquarters/research complex at its Landmark at Eastview property here. The $145-million project is the largest commercial office/research construction in decades.

A total of 194,000 sf of space will serve as the headquarters for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. The new construction will involve the development of three interconnected laboratory and office buildings to be built on a 66-acre vacant parcel adjacent to the existing 777 and 765 Old Saw Mill River Rd. buildings at the 752,000-sf Landmark at Eastview complex. The new project will bring the development to more than one million sf of research and office space.

Regeneron will occupy all of one and two-thirds of another of the new buildings. The remainder of the second and third buildings will be built on spec, according to BioMed Realty officials, another rarity in the commercial real estate market in Westchester County.

The pharmaceutical firm, which began operations at the Landmark property with four employees in 1988, will be consolidating operations from multiple properties into its new space that will be the new home for its 450 workers. Regeneron has signed a long-term lease for 194,000 sf of new space and has also agreed to retain 27,000 sf of existing space at the property.

Construction of the core and shell of the three buildings is expected to be complete by the summer of 2008. Regeneron’s office and lab space is projected to be ready of occupancy by early 2009.

BioMed Realty president and CEO Alan Gold says of the venture, “We are pleased to begin construction of this exciting and important expansion at the Landmark at Eastview positioning BioMed Realty Trust as the leading provider of real estate to the life science industry in the New York area. We see tremendous potential for this property in attracting new biomedical companies to the region, while accommodating organic growth of our existing tenants such as Regeneron.”

A BioMed Realty official says that the firm expects the more than 160,000 sf of speculative space to be filled with new biotech firms as well as from “organic growth” from the other 14 tenants at the complex.

“We are very excited at the prospect of moving into a new customized, state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to consolidate our business operations and increase efficiencies,” says Leonard Schleifer, president and CEO of Regeneron. “We remain committed to Westchester County and New York State and thank them for their commitment to expanding the biotechnology industry in the region.”

Westchester County executive Andy Spano says that the county has the largest number of biotech workers than any other area in the New York metro region and “this project will just jump start that to another level.”

“An investment of this scale and scope just confirms that Westchester is still a hot location for scientific research and development,” Spano says. “Regeneron has been a key player in the county for years, and not only do they want to stay, they’re ready to expand. BioMed’s commitment to build more space will allow other companies to be able to do the same,” he added.

Regeneron has received a $4-million grant from the Empire State Development Corporation. BioMed Realty Trust will receive approximately $2 million in various county sales tax abatements in connection with the build out and new construction from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, says IDA Deputy Director Theresa Waivada. The IDA will not provide assistance for work in connection with the speculative office construction, she notes.

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