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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Miami looking good to firms not wanting to wait out Scripps lawsuits

By Chrystian Tejedor
and Cadence Mertz Staff Writers
Posted May 16 2005


Palm Beach County knows that biotech clusters across the country could be stiff competition as it tries to attract businesses to its stalled Scripps-led biotech campus. But the county might not have counted on competition from an upstart biotech effort in Miami.

Miami could prove to be a drain on the county's grand plans for attracting biotech businesses to its planned campus-like research park. With Scripps Florida bogged down in lawsuits, the buzz it generated has quieted, and the project has lost some of the daunting momentum it once had. Some companies may opt to head farther south rather than wait for the lawsuits to clear.

Miami officials say they don't intend to compete with Palm Beach County. Palm Beach County officials say they hope the Miami project will help the whole region. But some say a little competition is inevitable. Bioscience clusters nationwide are duking it out for companies, sweetening deals with land offers, grants and tax incentives.

"Miami is a good thing for the regional cluster, and it's a challenge for the Palm Beach portion of the cluster," said Thomas Jirovsky, senior managing director of CB Richard Ellis, real estate consultant to Palm Beach County.

Miami has some advantages, too.

For starters, its first building already is under construction and expected to open this year. The University of Miami, a private school, is paying for the new buildings, while Palm Beach County's behemoth is soaking up $800 million in public money.

UM has an established medical school, a key component for a successful biotech cluster.

The Miami project is urban -- near the school and Jackson Memorial Medical Center, downtown restaurants and shopping and major highways. Palm Beach County's Mecca Farms property is well west of Florida's Turnpike in a little-developed swath of the county better known for its wetland preserves than for economic development.

"The long-range potential impact could be huge," Miami Commissioner Johnny Winton said of plans for the city. "That area has been a major job generator in the county, but it has been isolated."

UM's Medical Campus and its partner, Jackson Memorial, occupy a large chunk of real estate in an area of office buildings, hospitals, the county criminal court building and a jail.

Work on the school's new 338,000-square-foot, $90 million clinical research building -- about the size of the four-story headquarters planned for Scripps Florida -- is under way. Completion of a 15-story building, with a 14,000-car garage and a health club, is expected this year. Planners want to see 1,000 researchers and staffers there, conducting clinical trials on new medications.

"We'll have studies about the population and different diseases, pediatric and additional studies funded by the [National Institutes of Health] and the state," said Ron Bogue, UM vice president for facilities and services.

Miami hopes to turn the neighborhood between Interstate 95 and the Dolphin Expressway into a throng of research towers and accessible housing for the thousands of workers expected to flood the area. For biotech companies willing to move in, county- or city-owned land might be available, UM President Donna Shalala said.

The plans could be a major boost in an area hurting for economic development.

The school expects to break ground in June or July on a second building, a 10-story, $50 million laboratory, Bogue said. Fifty-six investigators will study different types of cancers and diseases and conduct surgical research. The building is to open in 2007. A new hospital and outpatient center also are in the works, with construction scheduled for a year from now.

Over three years, the university plans to add 1.2 million square feet of research and office space.

The addition is only a fraction of what Palm Beach County plans on its Mecca Farms property.

Palm Beach County has the advantage of more land than built-out Miami-Dade, said Gary Hines, senior vice president at the Palm Beach County Business Development Board.

County officials say the additional space means a leafy campus setting with housing nearby, a town center, nature areas, and the freedom to design to the county, state and Scripps' grand vision. Critics say Mecca Farms is too remote, with no paved road access, no utilities, and few retailers and services in the nearby.

Still, Miami's success holds some promise for Palm Beach County.

"I think it only enhances the South Florida region's ability to present itself nationally," Hines said. "Could there be some potential competition in the future? Sure, but I think there's much greater possibility of cooperative agreements."

Whether Miami is viewed as a complement or competition depends on the perspective, Jirovsky said.

Regionally, Miami and Palm Beach County make up one biotech cluster. In other states biotech sites may spread over 50 or 60 miles, Jirovsky said. The $369 million Gov. Jeb Bush and the Legislature funneled to the Scripps project was meant to benefit more than Palm Beach County.

Locally, however, Miami could be seen as competition, particularly while progress on Scripps Florida is in slow motion.

"It's giving Miami the opportunity to attract businesses that otherwise might choose to come to Palm Beach [County]," Jirovsky said.

In a recent report to Palm Beach County commissioners, CB Richard Ellis warned that other biotech companies would not locate on Mecca Farms until the lawsuits were resolved. Likewise, the state is unlikely to fund a hoped-for university campus on the site until a legal resolution is reached, the report states.

In the meantime, Scripps scientists are housed in temporary laboratories built by Palm Beach County on Florida Atlantic University's Jupiter campus. Shalala has offered Scripps more temporary space in the unfinished clinical research building. Scripps declined, according to the university. A Scripps spokesman said he did not know where the matter stood.

"We told them we would do anything supportive of their move to South Florida," Shalala said. "We never made an attempt to move them from Palm Beach. That would be unethical."

The strides made in Miami are not a concern for Palm Beach County, said county Scripps Program Manager Shannon LaRocque.

Scripps is the prize, LaRocque said, and the institute is bound to Palm Beach County.

"I think we're confident we have an agreement with Scripps. We're confident that it's going to become reality," she said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
UM's Biotech building


Ahead of the game
The University of Miami has begun construction of a 15-story building where clinical research will be conducted.
(Sun-Sentinel/Andrew Innerarity)

May 16, 2005


P.S. - I couldn't find the other thread about UM's Biotech plans. There are more pix of this building there. I wish skyscrapercity still had search capabilities.
 

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hopefully palm beach drops the ball with scripps... and we get a nice vertical scripps building in the civic center area... and then many, many others...

if not, UMs building enough stuff thatll bring alotta business to the area anyways
 

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Jasonhouse said:
The news of UM's growth is great, but that new building is straight out of the 60's... What a horrible design aestetic IMO.
Exactly, this building is something like the Lever House only not new! But for what I know of UM esp. their architecture program/interest, this is a step towards futurist/modernism - a bold move for them. I wish it was a more exciting design.
 

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Has the city of Miami ever considered giving Virginia Key land to Scripps? The land is stunningly beautiful and there's plenty of it. It's right across from Fisher Island. The only drawback is its located next to a seweage treatment plant. It looks like Palm Beach may be losing Scripps.

Scripps turns up heat on Palm Beach
Officials at the research institute are threatening to scrap the stalled project.

By Cadence Mertz | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted May 18, 2005


Frustrated at the lack of progress and a "lack of certainty" over its Palm Beach County expansion, officials at the Scripps Research Institute are prepared to consider scrapping the $800 million, publicly financed Scripps Florida plan and have asked their general counsel to develop an "exit strategy," county officials said Tuesday.

Word of Scripps' frustration and threatened departure reached county officials late Monday after a board meeting at the biotech institute's headquarters in La Jolla, Calif., at which trustees expressed concern that the project was stalled.

Utilities Director Bevin Beaudet, the county's former Scripps program manager, said Scripps Chief Operating Officer Douglas Bingham told him the board "expressed extreme frustration" over the slow progress and was ready to discuss leaving the state.

County Commissioner Mary McCarty said Bingham told her Tuesday that without a firm date to start construction of Scripps' $140 million headquarters he had been instructed to look for "an exit strategy."

Spooked at word that the institute may scrap the highly celebrated Scripps Florida project, at least four commissioners indicated Tuesday they might allow construction to begin on the biotech park, despite pending legal challenges. County commissioners will discuss the matter next week.

McCarty asked her fellow board members to reconsider their December ruling that bars construction until the lawsuits are resolved. Environmentalists are suing because they oppose placement of the massive biotech development on the rural Mecca Farms site. Construction was supposed to begin Jan. 3.

So far, the county has won four legal battles against construction at Mecca Farms, McCarty said. Another four cases are pending.

The institute on Tuesday released a statement from Bingham saying it remained committed to the Mecca Farms site, but had serious concerns about the lack of certainty concerning Scripps Florida.

Scripps cannot simply up and leave, said Chief Assistant County Attorney James Mize. Palm Beach County and the state have contracts with Scripps that bind the institute to Florida, he said.

In 2003, Scripps rebuffed a proposed site near Orlando's Lake Nona in favor of the Palm Beach County location.

But Central Florida officials have said they would like another chance at bringing the institute to the Orlando area.

A spokeswoman for Lake Nona said Wednesday the developer could not comment on the report of Scripps' impatience.

Several Palm Beach County commissioners said they don't buy Scripps' threats to pack up.

"This is just smoke, this is a threat," Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti.
 

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has Miami seriously put together a pacakge for Scripps? I'm just curious because I know about the lack of available land in Miami metro, and the Scripps campus is quite large (also taking into account the spinoff companies that are likely to open up next to scripps).
Orlando has Lake Nona & is already trying to capitalize on this fiasco by luring them back to central florida.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busi...9,0,4276028.story?coll=orl-business-headlines
Only reason I'm bringing this up is that if Miami wants to be a major player in this, they need to already have the land and incentives set aside.
I just can't believe Palm Beach is blowing this opportunity.
 

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Not sure if Miami, or Miami-Dade officials have for sure...but I'd guess that they have. Donna Shalala gave a talk about the amount of development that the university is putting tothether with their own funds and endowments. There is lots of infill opportunities in the Civc Center area...enough for Scripps to lease if they wanted to. No need to give away public land, especially waterfront land in Virginian Key.
Additionally, the U of Miami is developing over 400 acres in South Miami-Dade that could likely be repositioned from a mixed use community to a Scripps situation if they wanted. It would be great to take some of that Scripps business and put it in Civic Center close to the Metrorail, the Miami River Greenway, and new infill residential development. And, it is Shalala's/UM's plan to do exactly that.
 

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Posted on Tue, May. 24, 2005





Scripps biotech site OK'd by Palm Beach County despite environmental lawsuit threat

The Associated Press


WEST PALM BEACH - The Palm Beach County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with construction of a Scripps biotech headquarters, despite the threat of lawsuits by environmentalists over the project's location.

''It's time to get this project up and running,'' Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti said.

Gov. Jeb Bush encouraged commissioners to move forward with the project. State officials say the center will be a transforming event for Florida's tourism-dependent economy -- on par with the opening of Walt Disney World or NASA's use of Cape Canaveral as a launching site.

But the site of the project -- 1,920 acres on the former Mecca Farms citrus grove -- has drawn concern from environmentalists and other groups. Opponents claim the development will violate state land use rules, increase suburban sprawl, pose environmental hazards and hurt the fragile Everglades.

The county has had five victories in court against opponents of the project.

Doug Bingham, chief operating officer of San Diego-based Scripps, vowed to stick with Palm Beach County through pending legal battles.

''I can't at this point imagine a scenario where we would want to walk away from Palm Beach without doing everything possible to stay here,'' Bingham said.

Commissioner Karen Marcus admitted to having concerns with moving forward, yet nonetheless offered her support.

''It is with a dreary and a nervous heart that I support this,'' Marcus said. ``I do believe that the big (lawsuits) are still out there.''

Commissioners said they believed the worst-case scenario -- that a judge orders the completed building torn down -- is unlikely.

That outcome would force the county to sell the property at a loss. The county would lose $49.5 million and have no money to build Scripps elsewhere.

The county and state have pledged roughly $800 million to buy the land, build the facility, pay its operating costs for seven years and develop a biotech cluster around the institute.

Scripps is known for groundbreaking work in leukemia, ovarian cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease, Alzheimer's disease and AIDS.
 

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hopefully the environmentalists will file hundreds of protests and UM will offer scripps the land that they have in south dade... and the rest will be history...

but even if palm beach gets it... as long as it stays in south florida, its all good...
 

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That's life. Let them have Scripps. There is plenty of biotech and research going on in the civic center area now, and UM is really pioneering even more research/incubator space.
As all the fans of density would agree, brains like to be grouped together, usually near universities, public transport, and city services. The Scripps labs are out in agriland. There is probably enough business for both counties, but rest assurred, the civic center area is a very powerful economic engine in this county, and will continue to be.
 
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