Navy Yard chooses top engineering firms for life science hub expansion

CRB and IPS-Integrated Project Services are among the companies that have been chosen to work on the project by Philadelphia's public-private economic development corporation PIDC

PIDC, Philadelphia's public-private economic development corporation and master developer of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in partnership with Ensemble Real Estate Investments and Mosaic Development Partners, has announced the execution of an agreement.

The agreement provides Ensemble/Mosaic with the exclusive development rights for 109 acres at the Navy Yard and launches a $2.5 billion development plan that will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs.

The $400 million first phase includes the development of two advanced life sciences buildings followed by significant residential and hospitality initiatives.

It will support interior ceiling heights up to 16' and provide floor heights designed to facilitate cGMP manufacturing with walkable cleanroom ceiling systems

Ensemble/Mosaic will construct a +/-100,000 sqft speculative laboratory and office development at 1201 Normandy Place with anticipated delivery by the close of 2022. The partners will concurrently market 333 Rouse Boulevard, which can accommodate a 120,000 sqft build-to-suit facility, for opportunities with cGMP manufacturers.

Upon completion of these buildings, the Navy Yard will eclipse one million sqft of life sciences space.

"Expanding this vibrant life sciences hub will bring high-quality jobs to the Navy Yard, support growing companies in the advanced life sciences sector, and contribute to development of this dynamic campus that is already home to 15,000 employees," said Kate McNamara, Senior VP at PIDC. "Equally exciting, our agreement includes one of the most intentional and inclusive economic opportunity initiatives in the history of this city."

The agreement, which was initially announced last July, will guide the growth and expansion of the former military base and will further establish the Navy Yard as a vibrant and inclusive mixed-use community. Ensemble/Mosaic ultimately envisions approximately 3,000 residential units and nearly three million sqft of life science manufacturing, R&D, office, hotels, makerspace and retail space when complete.

Expanding life science capacity

The building at 1201 Normandy Place is designed by DIGSAU, an award-winning contemporary architecture firm, in collaboration with CRB, a global architecture and engineering firm, which together aims to set a new standard for innovation.

Philadelphia-based DIGSAU has designed five buildings in the Navy Yard. CRB is a preeminent designer for life science manufacturing and laboratory environments.

The four-story facility targeting LEED Gold certification is conceived with flexibility at the forefront. Its 30,000 sqft floor plates with 16' floor-to-floor heights will provide lab and clinical manufacturing-ready environments for ATMP (advanced therapy medicinal products) and life science companies.

Spaces between 5,000 to 100,000 sqft will be available, maximising both efficiency and optionality for the company's operations.

Mark Seltzer, Senior VP of Development - East at Ensemble, said: "Our new buildings will create much-needed inventory for the incredible demand for space in this sector."

The preliminary concept for 333 Rouse Boulevard is a 120,000 sqft facility providing office, laboratory space, cGMP manufacturing, warehousing and conditioned indoor mechanical space for plant and critical utilities. The manufacturing area will support interior ceiling heights up to 16' and provide floor heights designed to facilitate cGMP manufacturing with walkable cleanroom ceiling systems.

The project provides for a balance of short-term efficiency and long-term flexibility, making it an ideal home to life sciences companies seeking immediate functionality and the ability to grow in place.

This project is being designed by DIGSAU and IPS-Integrated Project Services, a locally founded company that ranks as one of the top biologics, cell and gene therapy design firms in the world solely dedicated to designing, constructing and qualifying cGMP facilities.

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