Despite the abundance of prominent universities and intellectual individuals in New York City, this City has struggled to compete with the Boston metro area in the life sciences industry. One main reason for NYC’s struggle to boost this sector is the restrictions of New York City zoning.
Restrictions of New York City Zoning
In New York City, it is difficult to attract the life sciences industry because of the zoning regulations that restrict the areas wherein life sciences laboratories are permitted. Laboratories, research, experimental, or testing uses are considered part of Use Group 17, which is currently only permitted in Manufacturing districts. However, these districts are not necessarily located in areas that can appropriately accommodate these industries. For one, many of these districts are not in prominent areas in which people desire work; in short, this makes it difficult to attract the best and brightest.
Additionally, the Manufacturing areas that are in prominent places may have other problems, such as buildings with small floorplates or a nearby transportation network that cannot support the industry’s needs. For these reasons, it is a challenge for the life sciences industry to flourish in New York City.
New York’s Life Sciences Initiative
New York City recognizes the need to grow and expand NYC’s life sciences industry. It is for this reason that the City has made a major push to boost the development of commercial life sciences buildings. On December 12, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City would be investing $500 million into growing the City’s life sciences sector. The plan, titled LifeSci NYC, seeks to create 16,000 jobs and 1,000 paid internships over the next 10 years. Additionally, LifeSci NYC will give financial support to the City’s existing research institutions and medical centers.
The LifeSci NYC plan will complement the initiatives of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently announced a new $650 million initiative to spur the growth of New York State’s life sciences industry by providing tax incentives and grants to those who invest in life sciences development projects.
Milrose’s Involvement in Growing NYC’s Life Sciences Industry
While acknowledging the challenges of life sciences development initiatives in the City, Milrose’s expertise with New York City’s zoning resolution, building code, and permitting processes has allowed them to help bring several recent NYC life sciences development projects to life, including our ongoing work with the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute.
As a key player in NYC’s biotech development arena, Milrose was pleased to join New York’s most influential biotech leaders at New York Life Sciences 2021 to discuss the future growth of NYC’s life sciences industry. Held at the Alexandria Center for Life Science on December 15, 2016 , the event immediately followed the news that New York will invest a total of $1.15 billion into the biotech industry; this led to an excited optimism about the future of the industry that was palpable throughout the room.
If you are looking to convert an existing building into lab space, redevelop existing biotech space or build new lab space, Milrose Consultants is highly qualified to guide you through NYC's complex permit approval process. Contact Us today to find out how we can help you find the most efficient and cost-effective path to project completion.