MidTown Tech Park — a proposed office, laboratory and research redevelopment project in the middle of Cleveland’s developing Health-Tech Corridor — has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from Ohio’s Job Ready Site program, enabling the project to start.
It was the final financing piece needed by Streetsboro, Ohio, developer Geis Cos. and the Coyne family to go ahead with their plans to buy the site at East 69th Street and Euclid Avenue, remediate it and build a 112,000-square-foot building to attract biomedical companies, according to the governor’s office.
Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher made the early afternoon announcement at Dunham Tavern Museum, across the street from the development site. Meanwhile, across the state, officials announced $29.9 million in Job Site Ready grants. The only other grant for medical technology space development goes to the Ingenuity Center in Marietta, which received a $750,000 grant.
Geis Cos. is ready to start construction on the project, according to Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer. The $21 million MidTown Tech Park project already has a $10.7 million federal, low-interest loan; $240,000 from a Cleveland program aimed at reviving vacant properties; and about $4 million in equity created by the sale of New Markets Tax Credits.
Once completed, MidTown Tech Park would offer much-needed space for young biomedical companies in the Health-Tech Corridor. “Within the Health-Tech Corridor, you have seven incubator facilities. All of them are full,” said Baiju Shah, president and chief executive of BioEnterprise, the healthcare company developer in Northeast Ohio.
Even the recently opened Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center on the edge of the Cleveland Clinic campus is close to being full, said Shah, whose organization is leading business development and financing efforts for Health-Tech Corridor residents.
“From a timing perspective, construction of this building is perfect for the evolution of the innovation cluster here and around the institutions,” Shah said. Young biomedicals want to be near those institutions, that is, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, St. Vincent Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, as well as Case Western Reserve University and its medical and engineering schools.
MidTown Tech Park space is expected to be “more competitive with suburban locations,” in terms of cost and style, than existing incubators, Shah said.
So a company might start in the basic offices and labs at the BioEnterprise building (technology-stage company), move to bigger and more advanced accommodations in the Baker Electric building (pdf) (product development-stage company) and end up in the MidTown Tech Park building (revenue-stage company).
Other Health-Tech Corridor projects announced Friday: The Cleveland Clinic broke ground for a $75 million laboratory medicine institute and reference laboratory that could create hundreds of jobs. And developer MRN Ltd. said it would finally break ground Monday for a $44.5 million retail and residential development in University Circle, The Plain Dealer said.
The fall of the announcements in the same week speaks to Shah. “It gives even more credibility to the vision that’s been outlined by the collective partners and additional momentum to realize that vision.”