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Class A web lab gets County support

Prince William County Board continues its support of life science community

In these days of COVID-19, the importance of life science companies has never been more apparent. These are the companies that research, test, invent, manufacture and distribute the diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines that will get the world safely past COVID-19.   

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors is continuing its support of this critical and growing business cluster by approving the use of the County’s Economic Development Opportunity Funds to support Holladay Properties’ proposal to build and maintain a new 30,000 square foot wet lab facility — the first of its kind in Northern Virginia. The County is investing $350,000 from its Economic Development Opportunity Fund and $250,000 in water and sewer credits to support this effort.

“As the epicenter for innovation and cutting-edge life science research, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome the Northern Virginia Science Center to Innovation Park,” Prince William Board of County Supervisor’s Chair At-Large, Ann Wheeler said. “This facility will provide much needed space to conduct groundbreaking research to address society’s greatest challenges.”   

The new facility, tentatively named the “Northern Virginia Science Center,” will provide companies with Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) standard laboratories, something that is generally too expensive for small and mid-size companies to build and maintain for themselves. This critical infrastructure investment will provide a home for graduating Science Accelerator companies as well as small to mid-sized life science companies looking to enter the vibrant Northern Virginia economy.   

“As Innovation Park grows and becomes a research hub in the bio-medical field, providing adequate wet lab space has become a challenge,” Brentsville District Supervisor Lawson said. “We look forward to Holladay Property Service, helping us meet that growing demand.”

Prince William County support of necessary infrastructure is what makes it so uniquely well-positioned to attract and retain life science companies. It is now the hub for life science companies for all of Northern Virginia.

“We are thrilled the Board is continuing its investment in critical infrastructure to scale our life science industry cluster,” Christina Winn, the Executive Director of Prince William County’s Department of Economic Development said. “The growing life sciences business community requires a highly educated and innovative workforce, making them a great fit for Prince William County.”

The Board has already approved the sale of 4.2 acres of land at 9307 Discovery Boulevard in Innovation Park and construction will start soon. Holladay will serve as the developer as well as the property manager when the building is complete in November 2021. Austin Haynes, SVP-Development for Holladay Properties, has been leading this project for over two years.

“This really is a project from the heart. We have been talking about and working towards this goal for years. We hope this is the first of many such buildings in our long-term partnership with Prince William County to grow and support the life science community,” said Haynes.

Prince William County is home to Northern Virginia’s Life Science ecosystem with George Mason’s Science and Technology Campus, ATCC, Corning, CeresNano, and others all located at Innovation Park. Also, the County’s Life Science Accelerator is there and home to eight startup life sciences companies, many of whom are also working on COVID-19.

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