RESEARCH GROWING IN ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FLORIDA
As one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, and as the new home of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute – Florida, and the Mann Research Center, LLC, St Lucie County is emerging as the next center of science and technology excellence within the state.
Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (TPIMS) The 100,000-square-foot biomedical research center opened in early 2009 and TPIMS’ commitment to this region and to the research that will be conducted here could not be stronger. The new facility is located in the Tradition Center for Innovation (TCI), houses $9 million in equipment and is a significant economic generator for the area as it will create nearly 190 new, high-value jobs that increase the median wage and tax base. To manage energy usage in the lab, TPIMS and the facility’s builder established it as Port St. Lucie’s first “green” building, with the goal of certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. See www.tpims.org.
Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute – Florida (VGTI Florida) The State of Florida further solidified its position as a growing center of life sciences research with the announcement that VGTI Florida expanded into a 100,000-square-foot facility in TCI. VGTI Florida moved into its new facility in February 2012 and is adjacent to the headquarters for TPIMS. The facility is expected to create 200 high-value jobs over the next 10 years. For more information, visit www.vgtifl.org.
Mann Research Center, LLC purchased a 22-acre parcel in TCI, on which it intends to build a 400,000-square-foot life sciences complex. Plans call for the site, just north of TPIMS and west of the proposed Martin Health Systems’ new hospital, to one day house six two- to four-story buildings. The complex will include 100,000 square feet of medical office space and 300,000 square feet of research and development facilities, with a small amount of support retail. Construction on the first 60,000 SF medical office building is scheduled to begin in August 2012. Total development costs are expected to be approximately $100 million. For more information, visit http://mannresearchcenter.com/.
The Tradition Center for Innovation is a 120-acre research park under development in the 8,300-acre Tradition master-planned community in western Port St. Lucie. Located just west of the intersection of Interstate 95 and Tradition Parkway, the park is anchored by new headquarters for TPIMS and VGTI. In addition, the park is home to the Mann Research Center, along with Tradition Medical Center, an 80-bed hospital, which broke ground in March 2012, and the Homewood Suites hotel. An additional hotel, restaurants and support retail, are also planned. For more information, visit www.tciflorida.com.
Treasure Coast Education, Research and Development Park (Research Park) is currently comprised of 1,634 sq ft. In 2005, the St. Lucie Board of County Commissioners and the University of Florida collectively created this agriculturally-and-biotechnologically-focused Research Park on Florida’s east coast. The initial master plan calls for 3.3 million sq ft of buildings and labs to house research, development and educational institutions, businesses and incubators on 497 acres with 1,137 acres of agricultural fields for research. Anchored by the USDA’s 175,100 sq ft Horticultural Research Laboratory and the 90,000-square-foot University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Research and Education Center, the Research Park is home to multidisciplinary scientists, researchers and educators. See www.TreasureCoastResearchPark.com.
Florida Atlantic University Center of Excellence Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution/FAU is one of the world’s leading oceanographic research organizations dedicated to exploring the earth’s oceans, estuaries and coastal regions for the benefit of mankind. HBOI maintains a staff of over 200 employees and is involved in the research and education in the marine sciences, marine biomedical sciences, marine mammal conservation, aquaculture and ocean engineering. See www.fau.edu/hboi
Smithsonian Marine Station Part of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, this field station studies the ecological richness of the Indian River Lagoon and Florida’s east central coast and draws more than 100 scientists every year from around the globe. See www.sms.si.edu