Janus Property Company breaks ground on 350,000 s/f Taystee Lab Building; Class A development designed by LevenBetts and SLCE

May 21, 2019 - Design / Build
Taystee Lab Building - Manhattan, NY

Manhattan, NY According to governor Andrew Cuomo, a  groundbreaking was held for the Taystee Lab Building, an 11-story, 350,000 s/f, LEED-certified class A property in West Harlem that will serve as a home for companies and organizations in the life sciences, technology, academia, non-profit and arts sectors in the Manhattanville Factory District. Developed by Janus Property Co., the new building will be the anchor of the district, which stretches from West 125th St. to West 128th St. and includes both new construction and the redevelopment of former industrial buildings. 

“Harlem has an incredible history and is also in the midst of an exciting renaissance, and this new building will be an important investment in the neighborhood’s future,” said Cuomo. “The Taystee Building will provide state-of-the-art life sciences labs and educational organizations with a home just steps from all the best sites this neighborhood has to offer.”

“Harlem is full of culture and diversity, and we are committed to investing in projects to continue the momentum of growth in the area,” said lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul. “The new Taystee Lab Building will anchor the Manhattanville Factory District and be the home of innovative companies and organizations focused on life sciences and technology. This development complements other institutions and projects in the area, continuing the transformation and building the economy of the future.”

“The Taystee Lab Building will continue Janus’s ongoing, 30-year effort to preserve the integrity of the area while bringing in innovators at the forefront of their fields to reinvigorate the neighborhood’s commercial zone,” said Scott Metzner, principal, Janus Property. “This new building addresses both the growing life science presence in West Harlem and the scarcity of available space to accommodate that growth throughout NYC. More and more, tenants are recognizing the convenience of the neighborhood, the beautiful location, historic districts, parks and riverfront and the extraordinary concentration of research and cultural groups here.”

“The Manhattanville Factory District is deeply connected to the surrounding academic and creative heritage of West Harlem,” said Jerry Salama, principal, Janus Property Company. "The area is the most densely packed community of leading higher education institutions in New York and is adjacent to one of the most vibrant and historical cultural centers in the world. The Taystee Lab Building and Manhattanville Factory District are at the city’s crossroads of culture, academia and progress—and the extraordinarily convenient mass transit to get people there.” 

Shown (from left) are: Vicki Been, council member Mark Levine,
lieutenant governor Hochul, Scott Metzner, state senator
Brian Benjamin, Jerry Salama, borough president Gale Brewer,
and Shaun Abreu (staff member for congressman Espaillat.)

Situated on the site of the former Taystee bread bakery, the building will showcase a modern aesthetic aligned with the spirit of the area’s former industrial heart. The ground-up development is a technologically enabled space that can accommodate a range of tenants, from life sciences to creative TAMI and academic users, mirroring the diversity of the neighborhood. Flexible floor plates run from 36,000 s/f at the base to 15,000 s/f in the penthouse, while all floors have expansive, 14-ft. ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass. Additionally, the project offers nearly 20,000 s/f of outdoor space, including a landscaped courtyard that provides direct access to the Manhattanville Factory District. 

Steps away from the A, B, C, D and 1 subway lines, and just one stop from Midtown Manhattan, the Taystee Lab Building is located next door to both Columbia University, including its new business school and the Jerome Greene Science Center, as well as the New York Structural Biology Center and the City College of New York, which includes the CUNY Center for Discovery and Innovation and the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center. 

The property was sold to Janus Property by the New York City Economic Development Corporation after a city-wide competition and was designed by LevenBetts Architects and SLCE Architects. To support Janus’ investment of up to $350 million to demolish the dilapidated former factory and build the new Taystee Lab Building, Empire State Development has offered up to $10 million in performance-based grants. The building is on track for substantial completion in late 2020. 

The building’s life sciences focus doubles down on the industry’s strong roots in the city, which includes support for research institutions and the creation of talent pipelines that attract life sciences companies from across the globe. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has created a $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. 

Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO & commissioner, said, “With the Manhattanville Factory District, Janus Property Company is breathing new life into long-vacant properties - and bringing more jobs, community space and educational institutions into the Harlem community.”

Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers and NYC REDC co-chair, said, “The Taystee Building will turn underutilized land into a dynamic hub for laboratories, stores, and educational and community groups - helping further Harlem’s growth and creating opportunities for New Yorkers.”

Cheryl Moore, president and COO of the New York Genome Center and NYC REDC co-chair, said, “New York’s life sciences industry is emerging in every corner of our city and state. The Taystee Lab Building is exciting evidence of the sector’s continued growth, offering support for growing life sciences companies as they expand.” 

Senator Robert Jackson said, “It is exciting to witness the groundbreaking for this building in West Harlem. I am looking forward to meeting with Janus Property to discuss the ways this development can serve the needs of the West Harlem and broader Northern Manhattan community for decades to come.”

Senator Brian Benjamin said, “The Taystee building will bring additional innovation and resources to Harlem, which has always been a neighborhood well known for its commitment to innovation. I join Governor Cuomo in celebrating this grounding breaking and community focused development today.” 

Assemblymember Inez Dickens said, “Harlem’s Manhattanville Factory District is on the rise, and we will continue to invest in projects like this that will further the transformation of this neighborhood. The Taystee Lab Building will not only bring new businesses to the area, it will help expand the life sciences, technology and arts industries in the area. I thank governor Cuomo for supporting critical investments like these and helping to continue the growth of this community.” 

Manhattan borough president Gale Brewer said, “We all know that Harlem is booming—and buildings like the Taystee Lab ensure that it blooms for everyone. I thank Empire State Development for its work on this project that will create jobs and opportunities for our young talented entrepreneurs in a range of industries while also providing much treasured public space.”

New York City councilmember Mark Levine said, “The Taystee building has emerged out of years of close collaboration with the West Harlem community, as part of a new district that builds on the industrial history of the area. Once completed it will be an important source of jobs and economic vitality for the community, and I am excited to see the project move forward.”

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