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4MLK Building Is Paving the Way to Biotech Excellence


The University of Maryland BioPark reached a construction milestone with the topping-off ceremony of the 4MLK building, a groundbreaking project set to redefine Baltimore's biotechnology landscape.

The 250,000-square-foot building at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Baltimore Street will provide much-needed wet lab space for biotech and life sciences companies. An extension of the BioPark, 4MLK is set to enhance research capabilities with advanced laboratories, collaborative spaces, and state-of-the-art facilities that will provide researchers and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to push the boundaries of biotechnology. The project broke ground in fall 2022 and is expected to be completed in late 2024.

Jane M. Shaab, MBA, BioPark executive director and associate vice president of economic development, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), said 4MLK will allow the research park to attract 50 to 100 new companies into the city’s growing biotech cluster.

“This is a huge advancement. We’ve been waiting 10 years for it,” Shaab said, citing strong demand for lab space in Baltimore. “You’re going to see new jobs, people on the street, and company signage going up here.”

The topping-off ceremony, a tradition in the construction industry, served as a symbolic moment, with the final steel beam placed ceremoniously atop the building skeleton. The event brought together stakeholders, construction teams, and University representatives, all sharing in the excitement about the project’s future impact.

Greg Herlong, vice president of development, Wexford Science & Technology, said the $320 million capital investment is the largest commercial development in the city with an MLK Boulevard address. He praised the visionary leadership of UMB, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the UMB Health Sciences Research Park Corporation.

“Their leadership and commitments catalyze continued investment here in West Baltimore and make projects like this one and everything around here possible,” he said, noting that lifesaving technologies are already being developed by global biotechnology companies such as Catalent Pharma and Illumina in the BioPark.

As the 4MLK building takes shape, it underscores the vital role of the biotechnology sector in Baltimore. Strategic investments in facilities such as 4MLK position the city as a leader in biotech, with the BioPark playing a central role in driving scientific advancements and economic growth.

Shaab is thrilled with the progress of the project and says the construction serves as a beacon for economic development in Baltimore and global biotechnology advances.

The 4MLK building “is like a flashing diamond that says we are technology, we are vital life sciences, we are discovery, we are a community full of brilliant people,” Shaab said.

Source: University of Maryland, Baltimore