June 4, 2018
The University of South Dakota Discovery District officials announced their first tenant on Monday.
SAB Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and Alumend, Avera Health’s research and development company, will become the innovation community’s anchor tenants.
The Discovery District, an 80-acre planned corporate and academic research park adjacent to the University Center in northwest Sioux Falls, will give access to research facilities and infrastructure for research business development and foster collaboration to commercialize new technologies. Officials say the project is three times bigger than first planned.
“We don’t often in South Dakota push ourselves to the extent that we should,” said USD President James Abbott, who will retire in 17 days. “We leave that sometimes to others, and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that we are not leaving these kinds of things to others.”
“What this really shows is we can do what it is I think we need to do. Our destiny is much more than sometimes what we anticipated or imagined.”
The $30.9 million project will include a large multi-tenant research building and South Dakota’s first commercial Current Good Manufacturing Practice biotherapeutics manufacturing facility, according to a press release.
The park’s first building will be an 84,000 square-foot multi-tenant research laboratory, office and biopharmaceutical manufacturing space.
In addition to primary long-term tenants SAB Biotherapeutics and Alumend, the building will house USD Discovery District offices and offer 20,000 square-feet of open leasable space, according to a news release.
Sioux Falls-based Architecture Incorporated and architecture leader Perkins + Will have been selected as the architects for the building. Tetrad Property Group, an experienced research park developer, will manage the project for the Discovery District.
The second building is a 42,000 square-foot commercial biomanufacturing production facility. SAB plans to use the building for its commercial biotherapeutics production operations.
“We have dreamed of being part of an initiative exactly like we’re launching here today with the Discovery District,” SAB co-founder Christine Hamilton said. “We have found a permanent home. It’s the right place to establish our corporate headquarters, for us to grow our business and to foster greater collaboration and innovation as part of this community.”
Funding for the facility was granted to the district by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and will also create an evergreen fund to seed future Discovery District projects.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to our significant commitment to the biotech industry, clearing the way for continued growth of innovation-based business,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Transformational projects like the Discovery District require time and perseverance. I am proud of the months of careful planning, deliberate actions and patience have gone into this.”
The district is a partnership with the university, the GOED, the city of Sioux Falls, the South Dakota board of regents and the Sioux Falls business community.
Earlier this year, new legislation also allowed the district to lease an additional 101 acres.
When completed, the district will have 26 privately developed buildings, 2,800 people employed by companies within the district and a more than $314 million facility construction value.
The groundbreaking for the $30.9 million project is expected to happen in late fall, Discovery District President Rich Naser Jr. said.
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