Yale University has announced it will be an anchor tenant at 101 College Street in New Haven, a key project in the city’s effort to become a national hub for the life sciences industry. The university also is supporting a biotech incubator to be located at the site — a boon to the city’s burgeoning community of tech and biotech startups.
The announcement was made May 21 at the Yale Innovation Summit, an annual showcase of the university’s entrepreneurial talent and the New Haven innovation ecosystem, during a panel discussion on New Haven’s potential to become a vibrant center for research and innovation in tech and biotech, akin to the Kendall Square neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Improving our STEM entrepreneur and innovation ecosystem, including our core facilities, are central tenets of our university science strategy,” Provost Scott Strobel, the Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, said. “Our investment in 101 College Street attends to those and many other current and future needs. It’s a wonderful chance to work with our partners in New Haven to continue to create a vibrant, attractive innovation hub that draws talented people and great ideas to our region.”
The 101 College building project is a key component of the city’s Downtown Crossing economic development plan, which aims to transform the Route 34 corridor from an expressway into several walkable urban boulevards and connect downtown New Haven with surrounding neighborhoods. The plan envisions populating the space between Yale’s medical and central campuses with world-class lifescience companies and hundreds of employees.
The university is signing a lease to occupy about 125,000 square-feet of taxable space on three of the building’s 10 floors of office and biomedical lab space. Additionally, Yale is providing financial backing and additional support for the building’s 48,000 square-foot incubator space. It will house New Haven-based biotech startups in close proximity to the university’s state-of-art research facilities. The incubator will offer much-needed resources for growing companies, support well-paying jobs, and bolster New Haven’s economy.
“We are increasingly interested in creating intersectional spaces at Yale,” Strobel said. “Those intersections are often where the best ideas and collaborations occur. This project does that in a lot of ways — it opens up exciting new possibilities with our partners in New Haven, in the startup and biomedical communities, and we believe it will be a great draw as we look to attract and broaden the diverse talent pool of students, faculty, staff, investors and businesses to the area.”
Winstanley Enterprises, LLC, is the privately financed developer of the 525,000-square-foot, multi-tenant building. Construction is expected to begin in June. The building’s ground floor will be an active civic space that opens onto an exterior public plaza. Together with Yale’s early initial commitment to the project, Arvinas, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company with roots at the university, also agreed to lease three floors. BioLabs, a Cambridge-based company that specializes in managing co-working space for lifescience startups, will operate the incubator.
The building will stand across the street from 100 College Street, the current home of Yale spin-off Alexion Pharmaceuticals and the future home of Yale’s new Wu Tsai Institute, an ambitious research enterprise that will bridge the psychological, biological, and computational sciences. The institute will move into the building by fall 2022, along with faculty from the departments of Psychology from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Neuroscience from the School of Medicine, and colleagues from more than half a dozen other Yale departments.
A groundbreaking ceremony for 101 College is being planned. Details to follow.
Startups with ties to Yale, such as Arvinas, employ hundreds of people in New Haven. High-tech companies headquartered in the city are developing cancer therapies, antibiotics, and quantum computing and green technologies based on Yale research. The incubator will serve startups from across the state, including companies spun off from research at University of Connecticut and other institutions.
Southern Connecticut State University’s BioPath program, a partnership with the City of New Haven, is aimed at generating a local pipeline of highly-skilled, well-educated workers to staff growing biosciences startups.
Yale’s involvement in the biotech incubator at 101 College complements its support for other innovation-focused initiatives in New Haven, including its support of the New Haven Innovation Collaborative.
“Yale’s relationship with New Haven is based on three centuries of shared history and a commitment to improving our city,” Strobel said. “With this project, combined with our ongoing partnerships, we’re seeing exciting momentum toward a bright future for the Elm City.”