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Valley Focus | Northridge

CSUN Biotech Project Groundbreaking Set

July 28, 1998|EDWARD M. YOON

Ground will be broken Thursday for the multimillion-dollar North Campus biotechnology park complex at Cal State Northridge, university officials announced.

The $80-million complex, which will cover 720,000 square feet of floor space on 28 acres of the North Campus property, is the result of a partnership between CSUN and businessman Alfred Mann, who owns the Sylmar-based biotechnology firm MiniMed Inc.

Plans for the new complex include the construction of four office buildings and a state-of-the-art conference room, said CSUN spokeswoman Carmen Chandler.

"This venture should prove to be a great opportunity for the university as well as MiniMed," Chandler said. "We have great opportunities for research and internships while Mr. Mann gets a great location for MiniMed."

"It's a successful relationship between a university and a private business."

Under the partnership, the university will provide the developer with a long-term ground lease, Chandler said. The annual lease payments will start out at $350,000, ultimately rising to nearly $800,000.

In addition, university officials will have access to the conference center and its data communication centers, which will be utilized for future classes, she said.

The project, which is expected to be completed in about five years, has won widespread support from the community and business groups, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Councilman Hal Bernson, both of whom are expected to attend the groundbreaking.

Other dignitaries scheduled to attend the ceremony include Mann and CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson.

The public ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. at the site near the corner of Lindley Avenue and Devonshire Street in Northridge.

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