May 19, 2022
Photo Credit: PIDC/Digsau
Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus solicitation offers opportunity for development of up to 1M square feet in an elite US bio cluster.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 19, 2021 – PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, is seeking partners to shape the next phase of growth and development on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River with a landmark development opportunity for up to 1 MSF of state-of-the-art cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing. PIDC is initiating a process that is open to responses from prospective partners – either developers or end-users – capable of planning, delivering, and managing an extraordinary campus for bioprocessing across two sites on Southwest Philadelphia’s Lower Schuylkill riverfront. PIDC seeks a developer that is committed to minority participation on the development team and that presents concepts that meet PIDC’s focus to create both 21st century manufacturing jobs and equitable inclusion strategies for the surrounding communities.
“At PIDC, we are thrilled to be offering this incredible opportunity for critical biomanufacturing to allow the cures being discovered in Philadelphia to be developed and manufactured here in Philadelphia. The Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus is an opportunity to complement our ecosystem of discovery and bring life-changing therapies to market. This new campus will drive job creation and our continued growth as an elite U.S. bio city – bringing the promise and potential of life sciences to many,” shared Anne Bovaird Nevins, President of PIDC.
This developer solicitation comes at a time of tremendous momentum and excitement in Philadelphia’s life sciences ecosystem. More than 45 cell and gene therapy development firms have been established in the Philadelphia region and investment is at an all-time high. The Philadelphia region has been the recipient of $1.4B in NIH grants and $2.4B in venture capital funds last year and we saw an almost 500 percent increase in venture capital funding in the last 18 months – contributing to the success of six FDA approved therapies with research origins in the region. In 2020, Philadelphia claimed nearly a quarter of all cell and gene therapy investment funding nationwide.
“Philadelphia is home to 15 world-class medical systems and the first FDA approved cell and gene therapies. Philadelphia is the place where the foundational mRNA research that underpinned the world’s COVID vaccine response was born and Philadelphia was the site of the first case of cured cancer this year,” said Anne K. Nadol, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia. “Our city has a history of innovation and productivity. The growth of this sector is on an awe-inspiring trajectory – one that will be a driver of diverse and inclusive economic growth for Philadelphia.”
The development opportunity, marketed as the Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus, is offering exclusive development rights across two distinct “North” and “South” riverfront sites totaling approximately 40 acres. PIDC will consider partners interested in the development of a single unified campus or individual options for development. Each riverfront site is approximately 20 acres, and when combined, the campus can accommodate close to one million square feet of large floorplate development suitable for biotech production. The campus is located within eyesight of University City—a place where the region’s top academic research institutions operate, and many early-stage drug development firms are grown. And it is just upriver from the Philadelphia Navy Yard, home to leading companies like Wuxi AppTec, Adaptimmune Therapeutics, and Iovance Biotherapeutics. The sites immediately surround Bartram’s Garden, the oldest botanical garden in America.
“Many of the earliest therapies were cultivated from herbs and botanicals as the science of medicine was forming. The Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus is in a place where history and future are coming together in perfect harmony,” shared Angie Frederickson, Vice President of Real Estate Services of PIDC who oversees the group’s marketing efforts in the Lower Schuylkill. “Influenced by the riverfront’s natural wildlife and the cultivated gardens, and proximity to cutting-edge research and innovation, the Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus will set a new standard for the biomanufacturing industry, putting wellness at the heart of good business.” added Frederickson.
The Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus will be an integral component of the Lower Schuylkill Innovation District, which consists of a total of 75 acres of sites suitable for biotech companies at every stage of development. It is expected that growing bio firms might incubate at the existing University of Pennsylvania Pennovation Works and mature to clinical scale and advanced development at the Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus. The district also provides streamlined connections to I-95, I-76 and the Philadelphia International Airport. The Innovation District was the outcome of a city-led master planning process to transform a deteriorating 3,700-acre industrial corridor into modern business campuses for innovation.
“PIDC and the City of Philadelphia have been hard at work building the case for this landmark opportunity with more than $1 billion in investment to date. We have installed 10 acres of new greenspaces and riverfront trails and developed key infrastructure such as the Grays Ferry Pedestrian Bridge which will greatly improve the connectivity of residents and workers of University City and Center City to the site,” shared Tom Dalfo, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Services for PIDC who has overseen implementation of the Lower Schuylkill Master Plan. “Most importantly, we’ve undertaken a rigorous program of community engagement to ensure diverse and inclusive opportunities for growth exist for the residents in the neighboring community of Kingsessing and that every Philadelphian can enjoy stunning new riverfront trails and recreation,” furthered Dalfo.
As the process of selecting a development partner progresses, PIDC is committed to ensuring that future development in the area will have a positive impact on the people who will be living with the development for decades to come. Community residents are encouraged to submit feedback directly to the project team on the community page of the Lower Schuylkill Bio website. PIDC is highly focused on working with our city’s existing workforce development programs to prepare job seekers for the more than 4,000 family sustaining jobs anticipated at the campus.
Colliers Life Sciences and Little Giant Creative are leading the marketing efforts for the master developer solicitation on behalf of PIDC. The RFQ is expected to be available June 9, 2022. Proposals are being accepted through September 15, 2022. Successful partners will align with both the City of Philadelphia’s vision for the Lower Schuylkill Innovation District and PIDC’s mission-driven focus to drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. A key aspect of the vision for the Lower Schuylkill Biotech Campus is to provide opportunities for all Philadelphians. Within this RFQ, PIDC is dedicated to creating meaningful opportunities and is seeking a partner/s similarly focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. PIDC is committed to maximizing equity ownership and contracting opportunities for M/W/DBE and local firms at all levels and in all phases of each development project.
To register for the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), please visit lowerschuylkillbio.com.
PIDC is Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. A non-profit founded in 1958 by the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC’s mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. Over the past 64 years, PIDC has settled over 13,000 transactions with a diverse range of clients – including more than $18.5 billion of financing and 3,350 acres of land sales – which have leveraged tens of billions of dollars in total investment and assisted in retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Philadelphia. For more information about PIDC, visit www.PIDCphila.com and follow us @PIDCphila on Twitter.
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About Little Giant Creative
Little Giant Creative (LGC) is a Philadelphia-based, minority-owned and operated full-service creative agency that has worked with local and national brands and institutions to develop and execute custom brand strategies & events. Over the past 14 years, Little Giant Creative has designed collateral and awareness campaigns for a variety of clients, including Heineken USA, Adidas, Remy Martin, Temple University, Drexel University, The African American Museum of Philadelphia, Penn Law, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Living Cities, PAFA, OACCE, Visit Philly, Red Bull, vitaminwater, The Knight Foundation and many more. Since its founding LGC has worked to change the cultural lens to a more inclusive and equitable point of view. This has driven the development of programs that seek transformative change in communities by fostering civic engagement, media literacy, and the expansion of economic opportunities for youth and people of color. www.littlegiantcreative.com.