The New York Blood Center is partnering with Longfellow Real Estate Partners to transform its East 67th Street headquarters into a 600,000 s/f life science campus.
Called Center East, the hub will replace NYBC’s existing facility with a state-of-the-art center that will continue to be a key part of the City’s pandemic response infrastructure.
“Life science innovation has never been more important as we are grappling with a global pandemic that is requiring us to research in real time, and simultaneously develop vaccines, therapeutics and much needed tests,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, president of New York Blood Center.
“COVID-19 underscores the importance of investing in Center East, and developing a true life sciences hub that will allow us to advance research for treatments that will improve the health outcomes for people living with a range of serious conditions.”
The project, which is subject to zoning approvals, will be anchored by NYBC, which supplies life-saving blood products and services to nearly every hospital across the five boroughs and delivers stem cell products to over 45 countries worldwide.
Center East will not only provide space for NYBC to significantly expand its research, but its presence as an anchor tenant within the new building is expected to attract other life science startups and ultimately grow an ecosystem that helps new companies to commercialize.
“New York City is facing unparalleled challenges in the wake of COVID-19,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Center East is a proposed solution that will make us both more resilient in the face of future pandemics and provide an economic engine that will be essential to our City’s success moving forward.”
NYBC’s commercial and academic collaborations with life science companies and other research institutions are essential to bring its discoveries to patients as new vaccines, products, drugs and treatments.
However, the blood center cannot expand its research and development due to the physical limitations of its current facility, which was originally built in 1930 as a Trade School
The vision for the proposed purpose-built, 596,000 gross-square-foot Center East campus is to modernize NYBC from the ground up, creating space for institutions and startups all working together under one roof.
The 16-story Center East building will include shared and dedicated spaces to serve all the building’s tenants, including startups, industry groups, partner institutions and venture capital firms.
“We believe deeply in the mission of New York Blood Center and that Center East can serve as the catalyst to generating a thriving life science ecosystem in New York City,” said Jamison Peschel, Managing Partner at Longfellow.
“By partnering with NYBC, we will help New York City establish itself as a major center for the advancement of cell and gene therapies around the world, such as Boston/Cambridge and San Francisco. This is an incredible opportunity for NYBC and for New York to leverage the research capacity of world-class institutions and drive the commercialization of advances that will save lives.”
Ennead Architects has designed a building that will provide NYBC with a modern, purpose-built and amenity-rich home that emphasizes efficiency, flexibility, transparency, and collaboration.
NYBC will be the primary occupant of floors 1-5. The NYBC program includes a ground floor Blood Donation Center, state-of-the art Research Laboratories, and associated executive and support functions.
The building’s upper stories, floors 7-16, will be reserved for Longfellow partner organizations.
Center East occupants will have access to collaboration spaces, shared specialty lab environments, a café, and conference facilities with a ground floor multi-purpose room.
Longfellow and NYBC expect the project to create an estimated 2,600 new jobs on site, an estimated 3,000 indirect jobs in the neighborhood, and a total new economic output of $1.1 billion annually.
In addition, as part of the Center East vision, NYBC and Longfellow will create a workforce development program targeted at supporting youth and collegiate STEM talent via education, internship and mentoring programs, strategic partnerships with outside educational organizations, and on-site training and certifications.
“Now more than ever, the life science industry is critical to both the physical and economic health of New York,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress.
“Center East will not only provide construction jobs in the short term, but has the potential to facilitate the creation of new, long-term jobs from every sector of the life science ecosystem. This project represents an opportunity for New York City at a time when we desperately need new economic engines and job creation.”