JBG to build cancer institute campus at Shady Grove
The JBG Cos. of Chevy Chase will develop the new National Cancer Institute Shady Grove Campus, a $200 million project awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration.
The 575,000-square-foot complex will include a pair of seven-story buildings with a common entrance and retail shops that will wrap around a parking garage.
The consolidation will bring 2,100 employees mostly from elsewhere in the county to the campus, which will be part of the Montgomery County Life Sciences Center on property owned by Johns Hopkins University.
"GSA's decision to consolidate the NCI on the Montgomery County Campus of Johns Hopkins University comes at an optimum time for both the University and the County, as we have just entered into [a memorandum of understanding] detailing our joint commitment to advance the biosciences industry, higher education and workforce development in Montgomery County," said County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) in a statement.
The cancer institute move and new agreement affirm the county's plan to redevelop and triple the size of the 300-acre Shady Grove site into an international scientific and commercial hub with a mix of education and academic, private and federal research and development, as proposed under the Gaithersburg West Master Plan.
"It is our common goal to advance scientific and healthcare translational research to benefit local and worldwide populations," Ronald J. Daniels, Hopkins president, said in a statement.
The agreement also is intended to give momentum to adoption of the master plan, which has been delayed repeatedly.
Neighboring community groups and environmentalists have raised concerns about sprawl over the university's 6 million-square-foot proposal. Some council members also fear that building Science City, as it is called, in the western part of the county will block similar high-tech development along the Route 29 corridor on the east side.
The county isn't likely to address the plan before April, which would give Hopkins more time to rally support.
"It is critical to have this type of scientific commitment from one of the world's premiere research institutions in order to implement a biosciences strategy that will enable our community to lead the way in improving human health throughout the world," said Councilman Michael J. Knapp (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown, who chairs the council's Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee.
JBG, which will develop and own the building, signed a ground lease with Johns Hopkins. HOK has been selected as architect.
JBG said it plans to break ground on the 9-acre development this year and complete the complex within two years.
"Locating the research infrastructure for the National Cancer Institute here is a significant building block for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center," JBG principal Rod Lawrence said in a statement.
JBG plans an array of environmentally friendly elements to obtain gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
A stop for a new mass transit system, the Corridor Cities Transitway, is to be located there and will connect to the Shady Grove Metro station.
"The addition of NCI to our campus makes the Shady Grove area a national epicenter for cancer research," Daniels said. "We are excited to be a partner in providing a state-of-the-art home for this incredibly important scientific institution and its employees."
This report originally appeared in The Business Gazette.