UT-Baptist Research Park/Memphis Medical Center



UT-Baptist Research Park

Rendering Courtesy Memphis Bioworks Foundation

Why It Matters:

The UT-Baptist Research Park is designed for the specialized needs of Memphis’ growing bioscience community. Once completed, it will feature 1.2 million square feet of laboratory, research, education, and development space on 10 acres in the heart of the Memphis Medical Center. The Medical Center is the locus of many of the region’s healthcare providers and its medical school. It is set on 14,000 acres in midtown and downtown Memphis. 

Stakeholders:

University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Southern College of Optometry, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, Methodist University Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Southwest Tennessee Community College, Medical Education Research Institute (MERI), GTx, Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Regional Medical Center, the Regional Forensic Center, Tennessee Technology Center, Downtown Memphis Commission, Greater Memphis Chamber, Victorian Village CDC, numerous healthcare and bioscience-related companies, residents, and faith organizations

Leaders and Consultants:

Memphis Bioworks Foundation (Steve Bares, president and executive director), UTHSC (Steve Schwab, chancellor), Regional Medical Center (Reginald Coopwood, president and CEO), Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (Gary Shorb, president and CEO),
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Meri Armour, president and CEO), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (William Evans, director and CEO), Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (James Robinson III, CEO), Memphis Medical Center (Beth Flanagan, director)

Area Boundaries:

Danny Thomas Blvd., Vance/Peabody, North Parkway, Cleveland St.

Area History:

In 2005, demolition of the old Baptist Memorial Hospital on Union Avenue paved the way for what is gradually becoming the UT-Baptist Research Park. The park, originally slated for completion in 2016, is surrounded by numerous medical and bioscience facilities and interests. 

Current Conditions:

The third phase of the UT-Baptist Research Park, a $22 million, 26,000-square-foot Memphis Specialized Laboratory, has been under construction since January 2012. Its targeted completion date is in spring 2013. The project is expected to generate 50 full-time jobs with an average pay of $53,000 a year. Right now, between $3 million and $5 million in annual research activity is being spent outside Memphis because of FDA-required laboratory studies by local companies and entrepreneurs. The only way to retain that spending and generate jobs is to complete the lab. Already completed are the research park’s Regional Biocontainment Lab and the UTHSC College of Pharmacy Building. Next up will be the Bioworks Innovation Center, a 190,000-square-foot complex for early-stage companies that need flexible space.

Ideal Situation:

A medical district that is a destination of choice for patients, that is able to effectively capitalize on an expected $1.4 billion in economic impact, attract new businesses and industry talent, and that ultimately leads to research synergies that result in advances in medicine and health. UT-Baptist Research Park will be completed in eight phases based on market demand.

Current Funding Situation:

There are numerous projects at various states of development, from design/planning to construction. Depending on the project, funding sources might be private, federal/state/local, operating budgets, or bond-funded. For example, funding for the Memphis Specialized Laboratory came in the form of $7 million from the state and $15 million from banks, tax credits, and other grants. The board of the Regional Medical Center at Memphis recently approved $34.4 million for the expansion of the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center, the Firefighters Regional Burn Center, and the Turner Tower Complex.

Funding Goal:

The Bioworks Innovation Center is expected to cost $76 million, and UT-Baptist Research Park is expected to be a $450 million investment. Other major improvement and capital projects in the works in the Medical Center include a new ER facility at Methodist ($31 million), UTHSC Translational Science Research Building ($36 million), St. Jude medical tower ($190 million), Memphis VA ($44 million), and a nursing, natural sciences, and biotech building at Southwest Tennessee Community College ($18 million). There have also been indications that The Med is looking toward a major redevelopment of its campus.

Jobs Created:

BRG3S and Powers Hill, Hnedak Bobo Group, Self + Tucker Architects, archimania, SSR Ellers, TRO Jung Brannen, Looney Ricks Kiss, Horrell Group Architects, Fleming & Associates, Evans Taylor Foster Childress, Flintco, Perkins + Will architects, ETI Corporation, Phoenix Design Group, and Fisher & Arnold Inc., are among many more local firms that will be utilized for planning, design, architecture, landscape design, engineering, and construction work. 

Contact:

Regina Whitley, vice president, marketing and communications, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, at 866-1452

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