Newswise — NEW YORK, June 12, 2018 – Scientists, biotech, engineering and commercial building and design professionals are gathering at the Life Sciences Real Estate Development Symposium today to reimagine New York City using biology, and to thoughtfully begin planning for building new environments to accommodate projected rapid expansion of applied life sciences in the City and globally. The newly forming NYC Builds Bio+ initiative, an interdisciplinary collaborative organization of leaders in real estate and life sciences, will be announced at the meeting in response to the projected unprecedented decade of growth ahead.

“Think leather made in laboratories. Bricks made from fungus. Real meat made from animal cells instead of animals. Fabric made from algae. Eggs without chickens,” said meeting co-organizer and steering committee member Nancy J Kelley, president and CEO of Nancy J Kelley + Associates. “Future growth will come from expanding traditional institutions and corporations, and from new start-ups and technological developments such as synthetic biology, which holds the promise for the development of applications across a broad range of industries such as energy, agriculture, healthcare, chemicals, materials and bioremediation.” 

“Our goal is to educate our city’s real estate development community and increase awareness of commercial life sciences real estate needs and opportunities in a manner that will foster a large and growing cluster, such as those enjoyed by life science professionals in Boston/Cambridge and San Francisco,” said Mitchel W. Simpler, managing partner at Jaros, Baum & Bolles. Life science researchers and engineers are achieving their once-considered futurist goals, and we as a real estate and design community want to collaborate with them so we may quickly identify and design spaces around our life science partners’ needs.”

Kelley and Simpler are among the area’s life science real estate pioneers that were instrumental in developing partnerships between the life science industry and commercial real estate developers in New York City beginning over a decade ago. They are among five steering committee members of the symposium, with Jonathan L. Mechanic, chairman of the real estate department at Fried Frank; James C. McKenna, co-founder of Hunter Roberts Construction Group; and John Sabey, CEO of Sabey Corporation.

This inaugural Life Sciences Real Estate Development Symposium coincides with the recent announcement of the City of New York’s intentions to establish an Applied Life Sciences Hub in New York City, the flagship project of LifeSci NYC, a 10-year, $500 million commitment to New York City’s life science sector.

At the symposium, rapid individual presentations and panel discussions are aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding about the newest work by scientific, biotech and engineering leaders, potential for the expanding market, the specialized infrastructure required by life science companies, and the financial components of development and lease transactions of life science companies. Comparisons and best practices will be shared by developers at the forefront of life science clusters built in other U.S. cities.

Following a welcome by Simpler and keynote by Kelley, sessions are led by high-profile real estate leaders from Boston Properties, Hines, and Rudin Management Company—with presenters from CBRE, Newmark Knight Frank and New York City Economic Development Corporation. Growing life science innovators present in the afternoon, such as Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS; Genspace; EpiBone; Modern Meadow; Biofabricate and Opentrons Labworks. 

The symposium also includes an envisioning session led by Peruvian-born interdisciplinary artist Grimanesa Amorós, known for her lighting sculpture installations and art videos in New York and around the world. Amorós’ creations and presentations combine her diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research and critical theory, with her use of art to illuminate notions of personal identity and community. Her works are seen on Wall Street, at Times Square and have most recently lit up Prospect Park in celebration of BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! festival opening. 

Several recent developments suggest that this is the time for life sciences to truly take off in New York City. Two of the organizations at the forefront of New York City’s life science ecosystem are the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF). The NYGC is an independent, nonprofit academic research institution at the forefront of transforming biomedical research with the mission of advancing clinical care. Their off-site data center is at 375 Pearl Street.

The NYSCF is an independent nonprofit research institute founded in 2005 and is dedicated to using stem cell science to find cures and treatments for the major diseases of our time.

Collaborations involving established life science organizationsare looking to jumpstart the growth of new biomedical, biotechnical and research companies. These include Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC, New York State and the NYGC, which are together launching a new JLABS in New York City open to biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device or consumer health companies. The collaborative is expected to launch up to 30 new companies in these industries over the next two years. BioLabs of New York will create a 40,000 sq. ft. co-working space for growing biotech startups with top-of-the-line research equipment, business support and acceleration programming to help startup companies reach their milestones. This enterprise will spin out 35 companies in the next two years.

New start-upslaunched by respected scientists from New York City academic institutions, with major financing from well-established venture capital investors, will require significant expansion space in the coming years. These start-ups include but are not limited to Kaliope, Quentis Therapeutics, Petra Pharma, Lodo Therapeutics and Kyra Therapeutics.

In order for the City to reach potential as a life sciences hub, organizers of the symposium, and members of the newly forming Initiative will first pro-actively address constraints that include a lack of available, affordable laboratory space in locations that allow a ‘clustering’ effect, and create synergies where research, investment and technology transfer can take place to spawn new companies. 

“By bringing interdisciplinary communities together we’ll come up with fresh ideas that are fundable and buildable,” said McKenna, whose firm served as the construction manager on several successful life sciences and laboratory projects including the New York Genome Center, New York Stem Cell Foundation Lab Fit-Out, BioBAT renovation and infrastructure upgrades and has provided construction services to many of New York’s finest healthcare institutions.

The symposium is sponsored by Fried Frank; Hunter Roberts Construction Group; Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Nancy J Kelley + Associates; Sabey Corporation; Elkus Manfredi; Boston Properties; CBRE; Hines; Onyx Equities; Perkins Eastman; Perkins + Will; SL Green; Related/Vornado Realty Trust; McNamara; Salvia; Jack L. Gordon Architects, Milrose, and media sponsors Commercial Observer and The Wall Street Journal. Association partners are ACEC New York and New York Building Congress.

About the Life Sciences Real Estate Development Symposium

The Symposium, led by the Symposium Steering Committee, will be the first in a series of meetings intended to serve as the catalyst for more targeted initiatives that the New York City life science real estate community could collaboratively pursue during the projected and unprecedented decade of growth ahead. All proceeds from the symposium will be dedicated to supporting the launch of the newly created NYC Builds Bio+ Initiative to be founded in 2018. Learn more about the symposium at Follow the symposium and the Initiative at:

Twitter:@NYCBuildsBio, #NYCBuildsBio, #NYCBuildsBioSymposium

Instagram: @NYCBuildsBio, #NYCBuildsBio, #NYCBuildsBioSymposium 

Facebook: NYC Builds Bio+, #NYCBuildsBio, #NYCBuildsBioSymposium 

LinkedIn: NYC Builds Bio+, #NYCBuildsBio, #NYCBuildsBioSymposium 



Registration, 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Program, Presentations and Discussions, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Networking and Wine Reception, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Press Briefing, 2:30 to 3:00 p.m., dial in available




Nancy J Kelley + Associates, Nancy J Kelley, JLABS, Kate Merton,

Biofabricate, Suzanne Lee, Modern Meadow, Andras Forgacs,

Epibone, Blake Adair,Genspace, Daniel Grushkin,

Opentrons Labworks, Will Canine,

Columbia University Medical Center, Patrick J. Burke,

New York City Economic Development Corporation, Doug Thiede,

Versant Ventures, Janelle Anderson,

GP-write and the Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology, David Whelan


Hines, Tommy Craig;Boston Properties, John Powers;

Rudin Management Company, John J. Gilbert III; CBRE, Steve Purpura;

Newmark Knight Frank, Bill Harvey; Sabey Corporation, John Sabey and

Clete Casper; Fried Frank, Jonathan Mechanic; King Street Properties, Rob Albro;

Biomed Realty, Bill Kane 


Jaros, Baum & BollesMitchel W. Simpler;

Elkus Manfredi Architects, David Manfredi;

Hunter Roberts Construction Group, James C. McKenna;

Perkins Eastman, Steven Gifford; Ennead Architects, Lois Mate;

Perkins + Will, William Harris; interdisciplinary artistGrimanesa Amorós