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PSL Council OKs 20-acre land buy for Torrey Pines

TCPalm - 1/23/2007 12:00:00 AM
by Chris Young

Correction: This article has been modified from its original version, Core contribute to the $33 million building plus $7 million for equipment.

PORT ST. LUCIE — The City Council finalized agreements with the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies on Monday night, locking in the company's laboratory headquarters and funding sources for the building.

Without discussion, the Council unanimously approved an agreement to acquire 20 acres in Tradition from Core Communities to build the lab. Core also will contribute to the $33 million building plus $7 million for equipment. The city plans to finish the building by March 2009.

The city is paying for its $40 million bid to bring biotech to the area with a $1,500 impact fee on every new home built in the city. Core Communities will prepay the city for homes to be built in its three massive developments west of Interstate 95. The developments include 8,500 homes over 20 years, starting next year.

Other western developers also would prepay homes in their projects. Core and other developers agreed to prepay 60 percent of the 2,600 impact fees the city must collect annually to pay for the biotech research firm. Officials said the developers would pass the fee onto homebuyers.

Torrey Pines also pledged its president and founder Dr. Richard Houghten would relocate from San Diego to Port St. Lucie for seven years. Houghten would help the city promote a biotech and biomedical cluster.

Torrey Pines also is getting state funds, $10 million from St. Lucie County over eight years and $6.5 million from Florida Atlantic University.

The Council also unanimously approved the site plan for Torrey Pines' building.