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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 17, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 30
A New Era Begins in East Baltimore

The John G. Rangos Sr. Building at 855 N. Wolfe St., set to open in 2008, will be the first structure in the Science and Technology Park at Johns Hopkins.

Ceremony marks start of Science, Technology Park

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

State, local and university officials will unite in East Baltimore today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the much anticipated new Science and Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, a cutting-edge mixed-use development project located just north of the medical campus.

The project is part of the larger East Baltimore Development Initiative, an extensive 80-acre, $850 million redevelopment effort that was announced in 2002.

More than 200 attendees will welcome the start of construction on the first of five office/research buildings to form the research park. The new building, located at 855 N. Wolfe St., will be named the John G. Rangos Sr. Building to honor the $10 million commitment from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation that is to be announced today [see box below].

The event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Ashland Avenue and North Wolfe Street. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the lower concourse of the Broadway Research Building, where a model of the East Baltimore Development Initiative is located.

Officials expected at the groundbreaking ceremony include Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Mayor Martin O'Malley and Rep. Elijah Cummings. The list of Johns Hopkins officials scheduled to speak includes President William R. Brody and Edward Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The goals of the Science and Technology Park at Johns Hopkins are to bring new economic drivers to the city and to stabilize and recreate that portion of the East Baltimore community. The entire 80-acre redevelopment parcel is bounded by East Chase, Washington and East Madison streets and North Broadway.

Initially, the project will create 1.1 million square feet of life sciences research and office space, 1,000 residential units, structured parking facilities and a broad variety of retail services. A network of parks and pedestrian paths will knit the development together and link it with the adjacent Johns Hopkins campus.

The seven-story glass-skinned Rangos Building, designed by Elkus/Manfredi Architects with associate architect Gaudreau Inc., will be located on the corner of Ashland Avenue and North Wolfe Street. The School of Medicine's Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences will anchor the building and be its lead tenant. It will connect to university research facilities via a skybridge across East Madison Street.

"Johns Hopkins is committed, with many other dedicated partners, to ensuring the revitalization of East Baltimore," President Brody said. "John Rangos' extraordinary gift will help create breakthroughs in medical science. And with today's groundbreaking, we are assuring that those advances will take place in a building that, in itself, will be part of a breakthrough in the life of this community."

The aim is for Johns Hopkins and nearby state and governmental research facilities to serve as magnets to attract both emergent and established companies. The park will provide traditional laboratory and office space and also build-to-suit options for biological research companies, small-scale manufacturing firms, pharmaceutical firms and other businesses related to the biotech industry. The site will feature reconfigured, attractive streets and sidewalks that are in keeping with traditional city architecture.

The housing to be built will include a range of affordable and market-rate units, both for sale and for rent.

The Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, which will take up two floors of the Rangos Building, will offer a full range of its research facilities and equipment — including a microarray core, mass spectrometry and a minimally invasive surgical training center — to other tenants of the park.

The Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, a joint venture of Forest City Enterprises of Cleveland and Presidential Partners, a consortium of local minority developers, will develop the first 31-acre phase of the initiative. East Baltimore Development Inc., a nonprofit organization charged with leading and managing the revitalization of the area, will oversee the implementation of the entire 80-acre redevelopment.

The Rangos Building is expected to be completed in early 2008. Peter Calkins, a project manager for Forest City Enterprises, said that market interest will dictate the timetable of the park's total buildout.

Johns Hopkins receives $10 million for basic research

The Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins has received a commitment of $10 million from the John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation for basic science research in the new life sciences park in East Baltimore. Announcement of the gift coincides with the ceremonial groundbreaking today for what will be called the Science and Technology Park at Johns Hopkins.

IBBS, bolstered by the Rangos Foundation gift, will occupy the largest share of the university's space in the development's first building, which will be named the John G. Rangos Sr. Building.

"The Rangos family truly understands that the success of medicine depends on a solid foundation of basic science research," said Edward D. Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "This commitment will help Johns Hopkins advance in the basic sciences."

The building will carry a plaque summarizing Rangos' commitment to the basic scientific research that precedes clinical medical advances. The inscription will say: "A building to combine the strength of industry with basic medical science to improve human health."

John G. Rangos Sr., 76, of Pittsburgh, is the founder and former CEO of Chambers Development, an environmental and waste management company. He is known for years of philanthropic and civic involvement. In addition to heading the Rangos Family Foundation, he is now a trustee of the Leukemia Society, the Pittsburgh Opera, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, the Carnegie Science Center and Children's Hospital. He previously funded an endowed chair in the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine and is a member of the JHM board of visitors.

"This generous gift from the Rangos Family Foundation will allow us to embark on a new way of doing science here at Hopkins, in which investigators from different departments and disciplines are brought together to tackle some of the most important unsolved problems in biology and medicine," said Stephen Desiderio, director of IBBS. "This model for research will harness the powerful potential of collaboration and provide rich opportunities for basic scientists to work side by side with investigators from clinical departments."

The Department of Medicine will also have a presence in the Rangos Building. "This will be a unique building," said Myron L. Weisfeldt, director of Medicine. "In it, the best basic scientists, disease-oriented basic researchers from my department and industry scientists will all be striving together to improve human health. The single building will unquestionably enhance communication and create a unique community that does not exist to my knowledge in any other academic biotech park."

To encourage creativity and innovation as well as to push frontiers of new technologies in basic science research, IBBS is forming interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research groups in four key scientific areas. The John G. Rangos Sr. Building will house offices and labs in the new centers, which will focus on epigenetics, sensory biology, cell dynamics, and metabolism and obesity research.

IBBS was created in 2000 to bring together the School of Medicine's eight basic science departments: Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Molecular Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences and Physiology.

The gift is part of the Johns Hopkins: Knowledge for the World campaign, bringing total commitments to more than $2.15 billion. Priorities of the campaign, which benefits both the university and the health system, include strengthening endowment for student aid and faculty support; advancing research, academic and clinical initiatives; and building and upgrading facilities on all campuses. The campaign began in July 2000 and is scheduled to end in 2007.


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