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Initial Structure at Ga. Tech's New Science Square Project Reaches Highest Point

Wed August 23, 2023 - Southeast Edition #22
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The new enterprise’s initial structure, Science Square Labs, will soon be joined by a 14-story, 280-unit residential structure as well as another six-story building offering 6,000 sq. ft. of retail. (Science Square rendering)
The new enterprise’s initial structure, Science Square Labs, will soon be joined by a 14-story, 280-unit residential structure as well as another six-story building offering 6,000 sq. ft. of retail. (Science Square rendering)

The first building within a massive life sciences district at Georgia Tech in downtown Atlanta recently finished vertical construction, setting the stage for startups to soon have new lab space.

Trammell Crow Company, a global developer partnering with the university to create the 18-acre Science Square innovation district, announced Aug. 21 it had topped out construction on the project's first structure, a 13-story lab and office building.

The Journal-Constitution reported that the developer also finalized terms with its first tenant, Portal Innovations, a life sciences venture capital fund, which will lease more than 33,000 sq. ft. on the building's 10th floor.

Science Square, formerly known as Technology Enterprise Park, is a long-planned development that aims to bolster Atlanta's biotech and life sciences sectors. The five-phase project is expected to eventually include more than 2.3 million sq. ft. of lab and office space in addition to hundreds of apartments.

The new enterprise's initial structure, Science Square Labs, will soon be joined by a 14-story, 280-unit residential structure as well as another six-story building offering 6,000 sq. ft. of retail.

All three buildings are currently under construction and are projected to be completed during the first quarter of 2024.

Science Square Labs also will feature two food and beverage spaces, a fitness center, conference spaces, a tenant lounge and a catering kitchen that can be reserved for special events. A 38,000-sq.-ft. solar panel array also will be installed on the roof of the building's parking garage.

The site falls within a federal Opportunity Zone, an area that provides tax credits for development projects in low-income neighborhoods. The Development Authority of Fulton County also approved up to $29.4 million in property tax breaks for the entire project.

Besides building a pedestrian bridge to connect the institute's campus to west Atlanta neighborhoods, Trammel Crow also promised $2.5 million to support education efforts in surrounding communities to help nearby residents gain skills to work in the life sciences industry.

Science Square Aims to Be Top Biomedical Research Facility

While Georgia is the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Task Force for Global Health and several medical schools, including those at Emory University, Morehouse College, Mercer University and the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Science Square's developers want to instead pursue the life science sector and become a rival to biomedical research hubs like those found in Boston, North Carolina's Research Triangle and San Francisco.

Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera previously said Science Square, at North Avenue and Northside Drive, will be the medical companion to Tech Square's Coda building, a glitzy technology and research tower that opened in 2019.

Portal Innovations, which operates three incubators across the country, will lease out space to aspiring entrepreneurs and provide seed funding, according to the Atlanta newspaper.

Katherine Lynch, a principal with Trammell Crow, said in a news release that Portal will help further "Atlanta's strong position in the life science industry." The company's space will include wet and dry labs, private offices, collaborative spaces and an outdoor terrace, she added.

Portal Founder and CEO John Flavin previously told the Journal-Constitution that he expects the space to eventually host about 20 startups.

"We're making a bet that by being here and using our model that we're at the beginning of a decade or 20 years of strong growth," he said in May.




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