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Montgomery College Selects Builder for $40 Million Life Sciences Building at Germantown Campus

Late last week, the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology (PIC MC) signed a development agreement to add a state-of-the-art life sciences office building to the Montgomery College Germantown Campus.

19710 Observation Drive, LLC, a joint venture between Rockville-based, South Duvall and Germantown-based Minkoff Development, will build a $40 million facility on a 5.67-acre parcel at 19710 Observation Drive in Germantown. The 120,000 square foot building will include lab, office, manufacturing and distribution space aimed at companies focused on areas such as biotech, life sciences and cybersecurity.

The new building will be on the plot of land between the current college buildings and the new Holy Cross Hospital Germantown complex of medical buildings on Observation Drive in Germantown. The Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology at Montgomery College, or PIC MC, is a hub of education, business, and entrepreneurship, where industry partners co-locate and actively interact with faculty and students to achieve both educational and economic success.

“We are so excited to have aligned with such an experienced team to continue to build out our vision for the Germantown Campus,” said Martha Schoonmaker, executive director of PIC MC. “This new life sciences building will allow us to offer our students real-world access through partnerships and internships.”

The Montgomery College Germantown Campus features the 97-bed Holy Cross Hospital, a 145,000 square foot bioscience educational building and the Montgomery County-owned, Germantown Innovation Center that is a business incubator with 24 startup companies.

Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard said the development agreement is another example of how the college works with the private sector to “stimulate job growth and attract new businesses to the Germantown Campus for the years to come.”

Robert Scheer, president of Scheer Partners, said he is bullish on demand for the new building, adding that life sciences firms are increasingly moving to Montgomery County. Scheer Partners is the exclusive leasing agent for the project.

“We are fortunate to have an extremely significant talent base of CEOs who know how to run science companies as well as biologists and engineers,” said Scheer, whose company has brokered deals for major county biotech companies such as MedImmune, Advanced BioScience Laboratories and Supernus. “By many measures, we are now the third most important market in the country for biotech.”

The joint venture would pre-lease between 40 to 60 percent of the building to multiple tenants or a single anchor tenant such as a drug development company or a contract research organization that supports the biotech industry.

In October 2018, Montgomery College’s Germantown campus became the first community college in Maryland to be a designated RISE Zone, a Maryland state program that aims to spur economic development and job creation by allowing commercial and industrial businesses to benefit from real property and income tax credits. Additionally, the Germantown Campus has been named a federal Opportunity Zone, which provides capital gains exemptions.

Images courtesy Montgomery College.

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