Signaling that the city sees it as an industry that can bring jobs and economic opportunity, Mayor de Blasio announced yesterday that New York is investing $500 million in biotech and life sciences. Or, maybe the mayor just really wants a cloning facility close to home so he can rule the city forever, who knows.
The 10-point program, called LifeSci NYC, is an effort headed by the mayor and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The largest piece of the program is $300 million in tax credits that will be made available to companies building lab space in the city, in order to defray the high costs of construction in the city. The ultimate goal, the mayor said at a press conference announcing LifeSci, is to "add nearly 3 million square feet of new space for life science companies over the next 10 years."
In addition, $100 million will be invested in an Applied Life Sciences Campus, located in either Long Island City or the east side of Manhattan. The campus, according to the NYCEDC, should become "an institutional anchor for the life sciences industry," if everything goes according to plan. The city will spend $50 million on investing in already existing research facilities so they can expand, and $10 million to open a series of incubators for life science startups.
The plan also comes with proposed changes to the city's zoning code to allow biotech labs in areas zoned for commercial use, and a pledge that the de Blasio administration will "leverage upcoming rezonings to include life sciences sites where appropriate." The $500 million plan should create 16,000 jobs according to Mayor de Blasio: 9,000 in life sciences and 7,000 in fields related to life sciences. So, in the future, you might be meeting more people at parties who can tell you all about working in the white hot test tube meat industry.