Ground Breaks on $60M Facility at WI Research Park

University Research Park Inc., an affiliate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will develop a 138,000-square-foot building that will be fully leased to Exact Sciences Corp.
Rendering of Innovation One
Rendering of Innovation One

University Research Park Inc., a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will soon welcome Exact Sciences Corp. to its 260-acre University Research Park in Madison, Wis. URP recently broke ground on the $60 million Innovation One, a 138,000-square-foot building that will house the cancer-focused molecular diagnostic company’s corporate headquarters.

Located between 441 Charmany Drive and 501 Charmany Drive, Innovation One will be a five-story building designed by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates to be an environmentally-friendly, LEED-certified property. URP will lease the build-to-suit facility to Exact Sciences, allowing the life sciences company to consolidate employees from multiple Madison-area sites under a single state-of-the-art roof in an enclave of fellow innovators.

“University Research Park works to build innovation neighborhoods where research and science can flourish by creating attractive places, curating a community of technology-based businesses, and aligning closely with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, one of the nation’s research powerhouses,” Aaron Olver, managing director at University Research Park Inc., told Commercial Property Executive.

Exact Sciences HQ, Innovation One groundbreaking, University Research Park, Madison, Wisc.
Officials break ground on Exact Sciences’ corporate headquarters on Aug. 14, 2018 in Madison, Wis. Pictured L-R: Paul Soglin, mayor, City of Madison; Rebecca Blank, chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison & president, University Research Park Board of Trustees; Kevin Conroy, chairman & CEO, Exact Sciences; Aaron Olver, managing director, University Research Park; and Mark Pocan, U.S. Congressman.

Innovation One will provide Exact Sciences with ample elbowroom for future growth, as the development plan includes a pad-ready site for Innovation Two. And with a two-story connection to the company’s existing 48,000-square-foot research facility at 501 Charmany Drive, the new building will create a veritable campus within a campus for Exact Sciences.

URP is developing Innovation One with the assistance of construction financing from First Business Bank and $2.6 million in tax increment financing from the City of Madison. Findorff is serving as general contractor on the project, which is scheduled to reach completion in early 2020.

Madison moves

The City of Madison is proving to be an increasingly attractive draw for science and technology companies. “Besides the university and the research park, Madison also has a lot to offer companies in terms of livability—recently ranked number one—and a stickiness for talent that craves water, architecture, affordability, great food scenes, low crime, and plenty of entertainment, culture and intellectuals,” Olver said.

The list of science and tech businesses that have made the move to Madison over the last two years includes weather network and analytics company Understory Inc., which had been based in suburban Boston, and Dotcom Therapy, an online therapy provider that uprooted its home base from Springfield, Mo. Most recently, biotechnology firm Promega Corp. announced plans to relocate some of its manufacturing facilities from California to Madison.

Images courtesy of Exact Sciences Corp.