Lake Nona to land big biotech facility

By   – Staff Writer, Journal

Before dirt even has been tossed, a future biotech manufacturing plant in ’s 650-acre is dreaming up expansion plans.

The 18-acre site — likely slated for Cranbury, N.J.-based global tech and biopharmaceutical company Amicus TherapeuticsInc. (Nasdaq: FOLD) — already is being considered for a planned development with manufacturing, office and warehouse space.

And it may include a future phase to accommodate additional parking, office space and a lab area, city of Orlando project planner Wes Shaffer said at a Sept. 13 meeting.

Amicus executives haven’t responded to requests for comment. However, an unnamed company behind “Project Olympus” this month received a city committee approval to build a 200,700-square-foot development at the southwest corner of Laureate Boulevard and Medical City Drive. Real estate sources said Amicus likely is the company behind Project Olympus.

Additionally, Amicus reportedly also was considering other cities for a new facility, but the Orlando City Council approved a nearly $380,000 incentive deal Aug. 20 to attract the company to Central Florida.

The facility would be the first biologic drug substance manufacturing plant with associated research and development in Lake Nona. It’s a major win not only for Orlando but also for Lake Nona, which already is home to the Orlando VA Medical Center, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the University of Central Florida medical school, among others.

“The fact that an innovative business such as Amicus is considering Orlando to build the first biologic drug substance manufacturing plant solidifies Medical City’s ability to attract new and innovative companies,” city spokeswoman Jessica Garcia said.

The new facility would add to a bevy of industrial activity nearby as part of the airport/Lake Nona submarket, one of the largest in the Orlando area.