Gaithersburg, MD – A new public-private partnership is in force to attract more life sciences companies to the City of Gaithersburg.
Scheer Partners, the leading provider of fully integrated commercial real estate services for the health science industry in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas, and the Mayor and City Council of Gaithersburg announced today that they are jointly marketing and promoting a unique accelerator facility to life sciences companies looking for lab and office space in a shared environment.
Under a memorandum of understanding signed by officials with Scheer Partners and the City of Gaithersburg, the two are working closely together to land life sciences companies at 21 Firstfield Road, a 53,000-square-foot building in Gaithersburg.
The building is in the midst of receiving more than $6 million in laboratory-related renovations and will feature shared services such as an autoclave and glass wash system.
This accelerator is ideal for start-up or second-stage companies, or those that have graduated from Montgomery County’s growing incubator program, which is managed by Scheer Partners’ property management division. The building offers new space while remaining in a shared-resources environment, but without other traditional incubator services offered by the county.
“We’re extremely excited about working with Scheer Partners to bring more life sciences companies to Gaithersburg,” says Mayor Sidney Katz. “Gaithersburg is a world renowned leader in the biotechnology industry, and this accelerator partnership further demonstrates our commitment to enhancing that reputation. The building at 21 Firstfield Road lends itself well to a collaborative, innovative environment, and we look forward to its many successes.”
Scheer Partners is marketing the facility to life sciences companies and will provide due diligence to evaluate prospective tenants. The City of Gaithersburg is waiving all interior commercial-renovation permit fees, such as fees for mechanical, electrical, life safety, and occupancy when tenants are building out their space at the accelerator.
Utilizing an economic development toolbox program already in existence, the City of Gaithersburg is providing, on a reimbursement basis, a tenant fit-up grant of up to $3.00 per square foot to assist tenants in readying their space for use. The City of Gaithersburg will also provide and install appropriate signage at the facility to identify 21 Firstfield Road as a public-private partnership.
When the tenants’ leases expire at 21 Firstfield Road, and should they decide to leave the facility, officials at Scheer Partners will work with City of Gaithersburg staff members to identify and offer appropriate replacement space in Gaithersburg.
Robert Scheer, the founder and president of Scheer Partners, says the accelerator has strong marketing appeal because there is no other facility like it in the region that boasts such shared-space and marketing concepts – appealing to companies that have graduated from the incubator program or require more space than an incubator could provide.
“It’s a way to differentiate us and attract life sciences companies to Gaithersburg,” says Scheer, who is also managing member of the Greater Washington Life Sciences Fund, which was formed in 2008 by Scheer Partners and Chevy Chase-based JBG Cos. that owns 21 Firstfield Road. “I’m very pleased with this new partnership being forged by our company and the City of Gaithersburg.”