Wednesday October 27, 2004
The Louisville Medical Center Development Corporation has been awarded a $925,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for on-going development of the Louisville Life Science Research Park. Congresswoman Anne Northup secured the grant, the second one she has secured for the project.
“Development of the life sciences sector is a priority for our community’s economy, now and in the future,” said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, chairman of LMCDC. “Capitalizing on this growing industry requires continued public and private collaboration, as well as involvement of all levels of government. We’re grateful to Congresswoman Northup for her continued belief in and support of this effort.”
The majority of the grant funding will be applied to the balance on the LMCDC’s purchase of the Haymarket site from the Thomas family, owners of A. Thomas and Sons Meat Company. The acquisition and down payment for the $4.9 million purchase was provided through a $500,000 grant Northup secured in 2002.
Northup said that she has continued to support the development of the research park because of the potential impact it will have on the medical center and the community.
“Clearly, growing the local life science industry is one of the most important economic development initiatives for in Louisville,” said Northup. “The high-paying jobs that this sector provides, as well as the opportunity to build and capitalize on the existing strengths of the medical center further enhances Louisville’s ability to become a regional leader in this sector.”
After applying $835,000 from the new grant to the Haymarket purchase, the remaining $90,000 will be used to purchase equipment and cover infrastructure costs within 201 E. Jefferson @ MedCenter Three. MetaCyte Business Labs—the medical center’s business-development program for life science and information technology start-ups—is headquartered at MedCenter Three.
According to Steven Spalding, president and CEO of LMCDC, the funds being used within the MetaCyte facility are critical in helping to meet space demands of LMCDC’s existing tenants.
“In the past six months, we’ve been working to accommodate the needs of several tenants that were seeking to expand as quickly as possible,” said Spalding. “This grant enables us to respond to those needs in a timely fashion and ensure that we’re able to provide the on-going support and assistance our tenants need.”
Spalding also said that the grant comes at a critical point as LMCDC is in the process of identifying developers that are interested in partnering with the organization to build the first facility on the former Haymarket site.
“Over the past six years, the public sectors has continued to demonstrate its support of this project by providing the funds needed to purchase parcels of land the research park needs,” said Spalding. “Congresswoman Northup’s willingness to support this project, even during tough economic times validates the viability of research park initiatives and provides an opportunity to attract additional life science companies to the area.”
Northup agreed. “This project is an example of the success that can come when the public and private sectors work together to achieve a common goal. The real beneficiaries of our effort will be the bright young people who will remain and who will be attracted to Louisville because of the opportunities this community offers,” she said.