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
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOREST CITY
Ceremony marks start of Science, Technology Park
By Greg Rienzi
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
The housing to be built will include a range of
affordable and market-rate units, both for sale and for
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
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
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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