Revamped Farley Post Office may include a life science research center
Recognizing life sciences as New York City’s next largest growth sector, Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies hope to attract tech companies to the redevelopment of the James A. Farley Post Office. The joint venture will develop 850,000 square feet of commercial space, with roughly 730,000 square feet set aside for office space. The developers, which have a 99-year lease, are seeking biotechnology and pharmaceutical businesses as tenants, according to the Wall Street Journal. The team has hired a Boston-based broker with experience in the life-sciences real-estate market and has also created a brochure with possible designs for laboratory and office space. The brochure is titled “Moynihan Research Center at Farley.”
Related and Vornado are retailing the five-story structure as a horizontal campus that will take up two city blocks. The team is also offering modern-office amenities like super high ceilings, massive floor sizes and a 70,000 square-foot green roof with a steel amphitheater.
For the past decade, developers and officials have started to lure life science businesses to the city, as tech firms continue to bypass the area’s financial services as the biggest growth sector. In December 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $650 million initiative to foster a life-science research cluster in the state. And around the same time, Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed a plan, called LifeSci NYC, that invests $500 million over 10 years in the life science industry.
But New York still lags behind other cities, partly due to the lack of available lab space. New York has 2.8 million square feet of rentable lab space, compared with 16.2 million square feet in New Jersey, according to data from JLL.
Overseen by developer-builder team including Related, Vornado, Skanska USA and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Farley Building will be converted into the Moynihan Train Hall, adding over 250,000 square feet for Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak passengers. In addition to increasing the floor space at the Penn-Farley complex, over 700,000 square feet of commercial, retail and dining space is expected. The $1.6 billion new train hall is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.