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Central Tennessee Gets New Life Science Campus

October 18, 2002

Construction is underway for the Cool Springs Life Sciences Center (CSLSC), a $74 million biomedical research facility planned for Franklin, TN, 15 miles south of Nashville. When completed, the 10-acre center will be home to life sciences-focused R&D facilities for biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

A $464,218 Tennessee Industrial Infrastructure Program (TIIP) grant awarded to the City of Franklin earlier this year is helping to fund CSLSC. With the creation of an estimated 600 direct and indirect jobs at build-out, the center is expected to generate more than $15 million in spendable payroll and $1.2 million in annual local tax revenue for Williamson County and the City of Franklin.

"The economic impact of this project is huge for Williamson County," Rogers Anderson, Williamson County Executive, said in a press statement. "This Center will help put Williamson County at the center of the state's efforts to recruit more technology-based businesses and truly make Tennessee the technology state."

Last week, the three charter tenants of CSLSC placed their company's "markers" on a six-foot DNA replica to signify the start of construction of Building One, a 32,000-square-foot facility with laboratory and administrative space. The markers were placed by Dr. Samuel Lynch, coordinator of the project and CEO of BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Lee Limbird, Ph.D., Associate Vice-Chancellor for Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and R. Stephen Porter, Pharm.D, FCP, Chairman, President, CEO, VDDI Pharmaceuticals.

In all, CSLSC will consist of three buildings totaling approximately 134,000 sq. ft., being situated in the Cool Springs area of Franklin. Building One will be occupied by two biotechnology firms and a Vanderbilt University biotech business incubation facility.

The center is part of ongoing efforts by Williamson Works to establish Williamson County as a national leader in research and technology businesses. Williamson Works, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic development, also has plans for a 500-acre research and technology park. In March 2001, a study conducted by the Williamson County Economic Development Council estimated the park would have an economic impact of $10 billion over a 25-year build-out period.

CSLSC is a regional initiative of BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee Biotechnology Association (TBA), Tennessee State Office of Economic & Community Development, Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville Health Care Council, Tennessee Valley Authority, City of Franklin, and Williamson Works.

Construction of the first CSLSC building is expected to be complete by mid-2003 with total build out expected within five years. The center was designed by The CFP Group architects. Project developer is Noblegene Development Co. of Franklin, Tenn.