PORT ST. LUCIE – As part of a plan that would fulfill the City’s long-held vision to bring preeminent bio-science research to Tradition, the City Council on Monday night will consider a lease agreement with world-renowned Cleveland Clinic to occupy the City’s Florida Center for Bio-Science facility.
If approved, in addition to Cleveland Clinic conducting research in the facility, Australian-based research company Vaxine would co-occupy the building. Port St. Lucie would become Vaxine’s North American headquarters. This also would be the first time Cleveland Clinic has chosen a city outside of Cleveland, Ohio for a research facility.
“City leaders fully anticipate this lease agreement would be the start of transformational economic development for the City’s jobs corridor in Tradition,” said City Manager Russ Blackburn. “Cleveland Clinic’s internationally renowned health-care brand would finally make our longtime goal of adding a research pillar to our local economy a reality. We are proud Cleveland Clinic and Vaxcine choose Port St. Lucie as their preferred location to make these significant investments.”
The City Council at its Aug. 26 meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will review and vote on a proposed lease with options to purchase agreement with Cleveland Clinic to lease the Florida Center for Bio-Sciences facility for 15 years. This building was formerly occupied by the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at 9801 SW Discovery Way.
Cleveland Clinic proposes to create a translational vaccine and immunotherapy institute that will become the focal point for development of therapies across the areas of cancer, neuroscience, infectious disease and allergies. The goal of the collaboration with Vaxine is to create a minimum of 100 jobs above the average wage over five years. Under the proposed lease agreement, Cleveland Clinic would pay $1 a year and the new occupants would assume full responsibility for all building maintenance, operating expenses and the payment of special assessment district fees and community development district fees.
Cleveland Clinic would be responsible for the direct and indirect cost associated with the recruitment and employment of research scientists. The proposal would result in a reduction of $1.5 million in operating expenses plus property taxes that are incurred annually by the City. The City would be responsible for the annual debt service on the building.
The 15-year proposed lease includes options to purchase the building for $14.5 million. In an effort to encourage the creation of more of high-wage employment in the building, purchase price reductions have been included if Cleveland Clinic reaches certain job-creation milestones. The negotiated term sheet, Cleveland Clinic Letter of Intent and Economic Impact Analysis is available at https://psl.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
If approved, benefits of the agreement include:
· Establishing Port St. Lucie as a major hub for Cleveland Clinic Florida
· Creating a minimum of 100 jobs in the first five years of the lease, with an average wage that is 25 percent above the average wage in St. Lucie County
· Cleveland Clinic’s international reputation and brand will attract private and public research and investment dollars, which could create spin-off businesses in Port St. Lucie
· The City will no longer fund operational and maintenance spending on an empty building saving a minimum of $1.5 million annually
· The City will not have to pay for any costs for potentially costly building repairs.
If approved by the City Council, the lease would take effect on Oct. 1.
The City of Port St. Lucie is proud to be a hometown where people live, learn, work and play, and celebrate all of life’s opportunities. With over 195,000 residents, Port St. Lucie is Florida’s seventh largest city by population (South Florida’s 3rd largest city). The City occupies an area of 120 square miles in St. Lucie County on Florida’s east coast, about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach, half way between Miami and Orlando. The City provides most traditional municipal services including law enforcement, water and sewer, and public works. For more information, please visit: www.cityofpsl.com
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