Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Developer John Fareri on Thursday signed a 99-year lease to transform “The North 60” into one of the most cutting-edge, forward-thinking biotechnology developments in the nation – a move The Business Council of Westchester has long led the charge to bring to fruition.
“The North 60 is arguably the most significant project not just for Westchester but for the region, and that’s why The BCW has been a steadfast supporter of this visionary project from the very beginning,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of The BCW. “We applaud County Executive Latimer for advancing this project and congratulate BCW member Fareri Associates for having the vision, ability and staying power to make it happen. There is no telling what life-saving discoveries will be made at The North 60.”
The North 60, as the site is known, is comprised of 60 acres of county-owned land adjacent to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla plus 20 adjoining acres owned by Fareri Associates. The center is expected to be about 3 million square feet of medical office, laboratory and research space, and include a Children’s Living Center. The property would also include a 100-room hotel. The county has estimated the project would create approximately 8,000 permanent jobs and 4,000 construction jobs. The development is also expected to generate $9 million annually in property taxes. It would also pay about $7 million in rent to the county.
“We are partners in this project and committed to see that North 60 succeeds,” Latimer said. “This can be a biotech center that attracts people from around the area… People will see Westchester as a central place for biotechnology.”
Even before “biotech” became a household word, and when others did not yet recognize the economic importance that this cluster represented for the county, The BCW was hard at work supporting a life-sciences sector in the Hudson Valley. This dates back to before the creation of a biotech incubator at New York Medical College – known as BioInc – which would not have become a reality without The BCW’s advocacy, resulting in a $5 million state grant.
“The North 60 will cement Westchester’s standing as a leading hub for biotechnology and life sciences,” Gordon continued. “It will generate thousands of construction jobs and promises to attract high-paying medical, scientific and research positions, as well as extensive support staff. The site’s prime location near the Medical Center, New York Medical College and other institutions of higher education such as Westchester Community College, Pace University and others will foster innovative partnerships. The new development will also bring added tax revenues to support local schools, services and taxpayers.”
Westchester is already home to biotech powerhouses such as BCW members Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Acorda Therapeutics, ContraFect Corporation and many more. The potential for synergistic relationships is clear, and there is demand for the laboratory and research space planned at The North 60. In a county where 47 percent of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher – with nearly half of those being in science, engineering or related fields, according to The BCW Data Exchange – it makes perfect sense that a biotech development would thrive in Westchester.