Life Sciences Expansion Project

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Project Background
In 2007 the City of Reading was awarded a $2,339,177 grant under the State of Ohio Job Ready Site (JRS) Technical Center/Research Laboratories Program.  Grant proceeds were used to acquire and improve a 10.35 acre underutilized site, later expanded to 13.865 acres, to make it marketable and “certified” for future development by life science companies.


The property, located at 601 East Third Street in the City of Reading,  Hamilton County, Ohio, formerly housed the Nivison-Weiskopf Glass and Box Manufacturing Plant. The property is contiguous to the existing Reading Life Science Complex, one of the largest biotechnology centers in the Midwest.  The contiguous companies are Patheon Pharmaceuticals, Girindus America, and UC Metabolic Diseases Institute.

In addition to the JRS grant, the City received two US EPA grants to conduct environmental analysis and remediation at the site: a $200,000 US EPA Brownfield Assessments grant in 2003, and a $200,000 US EPA Petroleum grant in 2009.


  • Point by Point Summary of the overview of this land and project. Download Now
  • Details on the incentives, including Tax credits/exemptions, employment opportunities and more. Download Now.
  • Benefits Sheet – the benefits of building out. Download Now.
  • Project Summary. Specific details about the history of the project. Download Now.
  • Campus map. This is an aerial view of the site with markers. Download Now
  • Road & Utlilities Map.  Utilities, access roads, and general layout, with markers and acreage. Download Now.

Project Components/Costs

Vicinity Map

Total costs for the Reading Life Science Expansion Project are $3,514,139. As part of the initiative to redevelop the Reading Life Sciences Expansion property the City acquired the former 10.35 acre Nivison-Weiskopf industrial property in 2007, vacated tenants and completed universal waste removal, asbestos abatement and demolition of more than 155,000 square feet of building on the property by July 2008. In November 2009, the city added approximately three acres to the redevelopment property by acquiring adjacent residential land. Further property expansion was accomplished in August 2010 through acquisition of 0.383 additional acre of residential land.  Concurrent with and following demolition efforts on the property, environmental clean up was conducted that included removal of petroleum underground storage tanks, excavation of petroleum contaminated soil, remediation of groundwater and documentation that the property meets Ohio Voluntary Action Program standards via a No Further Action (NFA) letter submitted to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) in October 2011.  Significant off-site improvements were completed including road construction and water line installation. On-site improvements included water line, flood and drainage work.   A second primary access road was completed in 2011 that gives access directly from Reading Road.

Project Need
When certified, the site will fill a gap in Ohio’s life science offerings and enhance southwest Ohio’s already strong presence in the pharmaceutical biotechnology field. Major economic development benefits that will be derived from the proposed project include:

1. Support of Ohio’s Third Frontier Initiative – Acquisition of the Nivison-Weiskopf property has preserved valuable industrial land within the I-275 beltway for the expansion of the contiguous Reading Life Science Complex which currently has 2,555,555 square feet of research and development space on 59 acres. Reading’s three existing life science partners, (the UC Metabolic Diseases Institute, Girindus America, and Patheon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), deliver a fully integrated way of moving a drug candidate from lead identification through clinical trials up to commercial API production. These applications are focused on the study of the biological and genetic causes of some of the world’s most prevalent diseases including obesity, heart disease and cancer.

2. Increased Investment and Creation of High Paying Jobs for Ohio, Hamilton County and the City of Reading – Redevelopment of the Reading Life Sciences Expansion project will increase investment in Ohio and the Greater Cincinnati Region by providing a “developer-ready” site that initially accommodates development of approximately 154,500 square feet in laboratory space. A future phase will add an additional 54,000 square feet in lab space and 96,000 square feet in supporting conference, retail and office space.

Currently the 13.865 acre Reading Life Sciences Expansion site generates less than $200 a year in earnings tax. Post-development, the site will likely result in new payroll of approximately $20 million over five years that will generate $300,000 in new earnings tax.

According to former Genome Research Institute Director Dr. David Millhorn, redevelopment of the Reading Life Sciences expansion property could easily accommodate a $50 million building with 100,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. In turn, this would generate 300-400 new research and support jobs resulting in an annual payroll of $15-$20 million. Other related activities which supply materials and services to biotech centers could easily double these impact numbers. In fact, a 1999 Economic Impact Study conducted by the U.C. Medical School indicated that the economic multiplier for the region is three times direct payroll.

In addition to creating new research and development jobs, the Reading Life Science Expansion Project will also help retain the 1,000 existing research and support jobs already in place at the Reading Life Science Complex by solidifying and expanding the region’s position in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry.

3. Redevelopment of a Brownfield Site – The former Nivison-Weiskopf property has a century-old history as a former glass and box manufacturing plant and was previously identified as a Brownfield site in Hamilton County Development Company’s Urban Land Assembly Profile. Using the proceeds of the JRS grant and two US EPA grants, the City of Reading took the necessary steps to conduct a VAP-certified Phase I and Phase II analysis and prepare and implement a Remedial Action Plan for the clean-up and demolition of the property. Redevelopment of the property is now necessary to return this Brownfield site to its highest and best use and to generate new investment, employment and tax revenues for the City of Reading, Hamilton County and the State of Ohio.

4. Support of the Greater Cincinnati Partnership USA Regional Cluster Study- The Reading Life Science Complex Expansion Project supports this recently published economic development marketing study which recommended that Greater Cincinnati’s life sciences enterprises should be targeted for future growth.

5. Elimination of Blighting Influences/Revitalization of the Reading Road Corridor – Given its strategic location along the Reading Road Corridor, acquisition and redevelopment of the Reading Life Sciences Expansion site will capitalize on the $2 million invested by the City in 2005 to construct Phase I of the Reading Road Streetscape Project.

6. Leverage of Other Local and State Funds – The JRS project leveraged approximately $925,262 in local, private and other public (non-State) funds that were committed to the Reading Life Science Complex Expansion Project. Of this total, $437,220 was cash provided from the City’s General Fund. This financing scenario represents an excellent use of limited state and local economic development dollars.

The Reading Life Science Complex Expansion Project will stimulate the economic revitalization of the City of Reading, Hamilton County and the State of Ohio by preserving valuable land for biotechnology and its associated high-salaried jobs. The project will directly result in the type of high technology economic development that the state and county support as part of Ohio’s Third Frontier Initiative.