Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reading pushing expansion of Life Sciences Complex

The City of Reading again is pursuing aggressively the expansion of its Life Sciences Complex, a project that is projected to add 300 to 400 high-paying research and support jobs and generate an annual payroll of between $15 million and $20 million.

The property eyed for expansion, located at 601 E Third Street, is located on a former brownfield site once occupied by the Nivison-Weiskopf Glass and Box Manufacturing Plant.

The city acquired the 10.4-acre factory site in 2007 after being awarded a $2.3 million Ohio Job Ready Sites Program grant.

Environmental cleanup on the site included the removal of underground petroleum storage tanks, the excavation of contaminated soil, and groundwater remediation. Demolition of more than 155,000 square feet of buildings was completed in July 2008.

The site was later expanded to nearly 14 acres with the acquisition of adjacent residential land, and the city upgraded the site's utilities and built a secondary access road connecting the property with Reading Road.

The city envisions an initial development of approximately 154,000 square feet in laboratory space. A future phase would add an additional 54,000 square feet in laboratory space and 96,000 square feet of conference, retail and office space.

The development would build upon the success of the existing 59-acre, 2.6 million-square-foot Life Sciences Complex, which supports three companies – Patheon Pharmaceuticals, Girindus America, and the UC Metabolic Diseases Institute – employing more than 1,000 and generating almost $48 million in annual payroll.

Currently, the property generates less than $200 per year in city earnings taxes. The city estimates that number could balloon to $300,000 per year.

Previous reading on BC:
Former Reading brownfield ready for end users (3/31/10)
Public input sought on Nivison-Weiskopf cleanup (12/15/08)
All Nivison-Weiskopf buildings demolished (6/10/08)
Reading denied EPA grant for Nivison, still seeking funds (4/25/08)
Reading to accept bids for Nivison-Weiskopf demolition (11/7/07)