New Lab Building Coming to West Harlem

The LEED-certified, Class A property is adding life science space in a neighborhood that's being fostered as the next big NYC destination for companies in the industry.
Groundbreaking event at the Taystee Lab Building. Image courtesy of NyGovCuomo

Janus Property Co. has broken ground on the Taystee Lab Building, a 350,000-square-foot Class A property in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

The 11-story state-of-the-art building will be LEED Certified and is expected to house diverse companies in the life sciences, technology, academia, non-profit and arts sectors in the  Manhattanville Factory District.

The project is the latest in New York Governor Cuomo’s plan to foster inclusive economic growth in communities across the state. Scheduled for completion in late 2020, the building will anchor the district, which includes both redeveloped industrial buildings and new construction along West 125th Street to West 128th Street.

“This is the only large-scale, state-of-the-art, purpose-built life science facility under construction in New York right now,” Jerry Salama, Janus Property Co.’s principal, told Commercial Property Executive. “It has the flexibility to accommodate a range of innovative tenant types in an amazing location at very affordable occupancy costs, especially given the multiple economic incentives available.” All tenants are exempt from the commercial rent tax and will benefit from an enhanced 25-year Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) real estate tax benefit, two energy cost savings programs, as well as the Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP). 

The Taystee Lab Building name comes from the property’s previous owner, the former Taystee bread bakery, and will feature a modern aesthetic while keeping some of the historic design intact. The building will boast flexible floor plates of anywhere from 36,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet, with all floors offering 14-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass. The facility will also feature a 20,000-square-foot landscaped courtyard providing direct access to the popular Manhattanville Factory District.

The facility is located one block away from the A, B, C, D and 1 subway lines and just one stop away from Midtown Manhattan. It’s nearby Columbia University’s new business school and the Jerome Greene Science Center. The New York Structural Biology Center and the City College of New York are both nearby. 

“New York City has virtually no private lab space of any scale available today, while our life sciences industry is beginning to take off,” Principal Scott Metzner said. “The Taystee Lab Building is a first mover in providing new construction, purpose-built space addressing this shortage.”

Janus acquired the site from the New York City Economic Development Corp. in 2001. The developer invested nearly $350 million in the property and handle the demolition of the former factory. According to Salama, Janus has deep roots in this area, having had its offices there for almost 30 years. Today, Janus is the most active private developer/owner in the neighborhood, having worked extensively with the local community. 

NYC as a Life Science Mecca

According to Governor Cuomo’s official website, his $620 million initiative to spur the growth of a world-class life sciences research cluster in New York and expand the state’s ability to commercial this research has been a huge success and is only expected to do more in the years ahead.

LifeSci NYC is another major undertaking designed to establish New York City as a leader in life sciences research, development and innovation. The initiative, which started in 2016, is hoping to increase jobs in the life sciences sector and grow the supply of commercial life sciences space.  

In March of 2018, Savanna signed a 20,000-square-foot lease with Carver Federal Savings Bank, to relocate to the Lee Building in Harlem. That property underwent an extensive renovation program, which included improvements to the façade, sidewalks, retail storefront, lobby and entrance, bathrooms, windows, as well as HVAC and electrical upgrades.