The Westchester County Industrial Development Authority gave preliminary approval today for a sales-and-use tax exemption of $905,000 on a $38.2 million biotech project in Ardsley.
BioMed Realty plans to complete two shell buildings at 430–440 Saw Mill River Road, next to the Accorda Therapeutics labs and offices on its Ardsley Park campus.
The developer says it is targeting small life science companies that cannot afford the costs of outfitting expensive labs. Whereas Accorda occupies a 168,000-square-foot facility, BioMed is willing to lease as little as 5,000 square feet to smaller enterprises.
BioMed, a part of Blackstone investment firm’s $545 billion portfolio, owns and operates 11 million square feet of labs and offices in the United States and United Kingdom.
Company officials told the IDA board that there is a shortage of lab spaces in Westchester, but with rents here projected at $50-plus per square foot, the county can compete effectively against New York City, where rents run from $100 to $150 per square foot.
The vacant structures in Ardsley contain a total of 97,000 square feet. BioMed hopes to start renovations on the smaller, 22,000-square-foot building this fall, to accommodate up to four bio-tech companies, and have it ready for occupancy next April. Then it would begin building out a 75,000-square-foot structure, to accommodate up to six companies.
BioMed says the project could create up to 341 jobs and the build-out would employ 250 construction workers.
The deal with Westchester would include a lease, in which the county would take title to the property and lease it back to BMR-Ardsley Park LLC, San Diego. BioMed officials said they are also discussing possible property tax abatement with the Town of Greenburgh.