State to build plant for drug firm Rosewood Center land to be business park


The state intends to start construction next month of a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on the grounds of the Rosewood Center hospital, a project that officials hope will spur development of a new 60-acre research park in Owings Mills.

The $5.2 million building for Atlantic Pharmaceuticals Services Inc., scheduled for completion in February 1997, could ultimately be one of six light manufacturing or research-oriented buildings in the Rosewood Technology Center.

Later this week, the state's Board of Public Works is expected to approve a measure allowing the Maryland Economic Development Corp. (MEDCO) to install $400,000 worth of utilities, telephone wires, roads and sewer hookups to a 3.6-acre parcel of the planned park, including the Atlantic Pharmaceutical site.

"We want to provide access for other development opportunities in that area, and this will allow us to do that," said Hans F. Mayer, MEDCO's executive director.

In all, the planned park within the grounds of the 685-acre hospital for the developmentally disabled could house about 500,000 square feet of space, Mr. Mayer said.

One project that is not expected to go forward, however, is a $22 million corporate headquarters and manufacturing center for Intergen Co. that had been designated to kick off development on Rosewood's surplus land.

Intergen, a maker of raw materials for pharmaceuticals, had planned to consolidate operations from New York and Toronto. The company apparently eliminated Maryland from consideration last year after being dissatisfied with the state's $1.8 million incentive package.

Intergen's 150,000-square-foot facility would have created at least 60 high-paying jobs and generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in property and other taxes.

Under terms of a lease with MEDCO, Atlantic Pharmaceuticals will lease the planned 46,200-square-foot building through 2004, with an option to purchase the project afterward. The building, expected to house 60 employees by the end of the decade, will be financed through bonds backed by a letter of credit from First National Bank of Maryland.

"The intent is to develop the overall site to a research park, and we'd like to see it developed that way," said Steve Kaplan, president of Niro Inc., a Columbia-based biotechnology firm and parent company to Atlantic Pharmaceuticals. "But that wasn't a prerequisite for our going there. But to the extent that the park creates synergies or potential customers, then I think it would be to everyone's benefit."

Atlantic Pharmaceuticals had intended to be the first tenant in a 100-acre park within the University of Maryland Baltimore County's Catonsville campus, but those plans fell through in July because of community opposition and UMBC's failure to obtain a zoning variance.

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