Trenton Bridge


Governor Wolf Announces BNP Paribas Expansion in Southeastern Pennsylvania

A leading European bank has committed to investing $18 million into the project, which will retain over 100 existing jobs and bring nearly 300 full-time, high-quality jobs to the region.

Century Therapeutics Significantly Expands Capabilities with New Facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

This cell therapy company plans to scale up their R&D capabilities and leverage these expansions to build upon their existing expertise in gene editing, protein engineering, and cell manufacturing, expanding their rapidly growing pipeline of cellular products.

California Company, DNA Motoring, Leases 300,700-square-foot Warehouse in Southern New Jersey

The Florence distribution center will support the company’s existing automotive retailing and distribution operations in New Jersey, as well as supply products to dealerships and customers throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

D.C. Real Estate Firm Proposes $190M Life Sciences Building in University City

The proposed 11-story building, being referred to as “one of the world’s most advanced cell-and-gene therapy research, development, and fully engineered production centers,” will include both lab and manufacturing space.

Amazon Opening Two Last-Mile Delivery Centers in New Castle County

In addition to improving delivery efficiency, the two centers, which are expected to open in late 2021, will each bring hundreds of full- and part-time jobs to the area.

PhilaPort to Break Ground on New $42M Distribution Center

Along with providing storage for dry cargo arriving at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, PhilaPort also plans to leverage the facility to attract other businesses to the port, including new ocean lines.

Aerial shot of Downtown Wilmington Delaware


Almost 150 Manufacturing and Chemical Jobs Headed to Delaware

In addition to more job opportunities, the expansion of three companies into Wilmington and New Castle County will improve public infrastructure and contribute to the economic wellbeing of Delaware.

Denver Developer Buys 45 Acres of Industrial Property in Burlington County

The county’s rich transportation assets continue to draw more demand for industrial properties that can potentially be used as warehousing and distribution sites.

Malvern Biotech Firm Opens 23,000 sq. ft. Life Sciences Incubator

Seeing an increased need for research and development space in Greater Philadelphia, Chester County biotech company, 8BioMed, invested $12 million to create the incubator.

Amazon Eyes Lease at Delaware City Warehouse

If completed, Amazon will have added more than 5.5 million square feet in the last year to its real estate portfolio in Delaware, including facilities in New Castle and Middletown, among others.

ILC Dover Moves HQ to UD STAR Campus

The world-leading specialized engineering development and manufacturing company cites close proximity to major airports and the University of Delaware as reasons for the move.

Camber Adds 1.24 Million sq. ft. Industrial Portfolio in Southern New Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania

Including its most recent acquisition, the Clifton-based firm has acquired 30 buildings spanning seven counties in New Jersey and Bucks County in Pennsylvania in 2020.

Mercer County


Economic Development Experts See Growth Opportunities Ahead for Greater Philadelphia

A boom in the local life sciences industry and redevelopment of commercial corridors has led to an unexpected revival of manufacturing job in Greater Philadelphia during the pandemic.

New Jersey Plans $250 Million Facility for Making Offshore Wind Components

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy believes that the new facility will help to rebuild a smarter and more resilient economy for the post-COVID world.

2020 in Review: Greater Philadelphia Industrial Market Stays Red Hot during Pandemic

The addition of several new developments will add millions of square feet to the region’s real estate market, which has become an economic driver in the tri-state area, as well as thousands of new jobs.

DuPont to Sell Chestnut Run Labs to Pennsylvania developer

The privately held, regional real estate firm is set to acquire 800,000 square feet in about 13 laboratories for redevelopment into “Delaware’s premier innovation destination.”

Cold Storage Is Heating up with Local Developers and Investors

The cold storage market in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey continues to grow despite the pandemic, with a total of 15.8 million square feet of facility space being used, according to Colliers International data.

Available Warehouse, Logistics Space in New Jersey Hits Record Low as Calendar Turns

New Jersey’s industrial market continues to be the brightest spot across all sectors in commercial real estate, with low interest rates and federal stimulus dollars expected to continue supporting demand for warehousing space.

Fairmount Schuykill


Amazon to expand cloud computing services in Philadelphia in 2021

E-commerce giant Inc. is stretching its reach even further into providing cloud computing services, and the Philadelphia area will play a role in the company’s technology expansion plans.

Saudi company pays $225M for majority stake in Blue Bell’s Arborcrest Corporate Campus

The massive acquisition is part of Sidra’s focus on buying properties that have long-term stability and tenants in the life sciences sector.

New Castle County, DSU partner on $5M COVID test lab

The “next-generation” genomics lab will be used primarily to process COVID-19 tests, leading to faster turnaround times for results and increasing Delaware State University’s research profile.

EDA starts process on Wind Port project with RFQ for construction manager

The New Jersey Wind Port will provide purpose-built infrastructure that supports the Offshore Wind industry’s unique needs, attract millions of dollars in investment, and create thousands of jobs for New Jersey residents.

SEPTA doubles down on commitment to $2B King of Prussia Rail project

SEPTA officials recently gave an update on the Norristown High Speed Line’s proposed extension into the area, which included route changes and updates to its five stations.

Downtown Camden


NorthPoint plans $1.5B redevelopment of U.S. Steel site in Bucks County, 5,000 new jobs

NorthPoint plans to work on getting township approvals for the phased development of what it is calling the Keystone Trade Center, which developers expect to create between 5,000 and 10,000 new jobs.

N.J.’s life sciences industry stoking real estate demand during pandemic, CBRE report says

Driven by biotechnology firms, New Jersey’s Princeton submarket is one of the most desirable life sciences locations in the nation, attracting major international companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Solvay into the area.

Delaware Innovation Space invests in 3 startups

The Innovation Space recently invested a total of $265,000 in three startup companies through its new First Fund investment program, which aims to invest in early-stage companies focusing on health care, industrial biotechnology, renewable energy, and more.

Spark Therapeutics buys former Penn vivarium in Delaware County

Philadelphia-based gene therapy pioneer, Spark, sees the newly purchased facility as an important part of their plans to bring forward more gene therapies for patients and continue creating the path to a world where no life is limited by a genetic disease.


Rising South Jersey industrial hub primed to add another new development

A new industrial development could be in the works for a 9-acre parcel of land in Burlington Township, where the ever-rising demand for warehouse and distribution space has made a stretch of Route 541 a new industrial hot spot.

Amazon leases future mega warehouse near Bear

With a slated ground floor size of more than 1 million square feet, the Amazon facility would be among the largest warehouses in Delaware.

Trenton Bridge


Community celebrates $19 million expansion of Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown

The long-awaited project is expected to bring more than 100 new jobs to the facility after its planned fall 2021 opening.

From Budapest to the Philadelphia suburbs: Why this pharma company moved its HQ 4,400 miles

The company picked the Philadelphia market due to its wealth of pharmaceutical experience in this area, especially when it comes to working through the later stages of drug development and commercialization.

E-commerce company Radial to hire 1,000 in South Jersey as Covid-19 pushes more holiday shopping online

Radial announces a holiday hiring push for the Burlington fulfillment center every year around this time,
but Tuesday’s announcement is its largest yet. 

Behavioral health care provider LifeStance doubling its Philadelphia-area footprint

LifeStance recently signed seven leases totaling 25,077 square feet, and has plans to add more locations.

Amazon to open fulfillment center in Salem County in fall 2021 — bringing 800 full-time jobs to N.J

The site, which will be the 16th fulfillment and sortation center for Amazon in the state, is expected to open in time for the 2021 holiday season.


Ensemble buys more buildings at Philadelphia Navy Yard for $83M

The real estate company now owns or holds interests in nine buildings totaling 1.1 million square feet at the South Philadelphia site and has invested a total of $360 million there.

Pandemic propels rapid growth in Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ South Jersey operations

The international pharmaceutical company that makes about a dozen generic drugs being used to treat COVID-19 patients is growing its staff to keep up with demand.

University of Delaware STAR campus to house new FinTech building

Students from the university’s College of Business and College of Engineering will have competencies of the highest order in this building co-mingling to make new developments, producing new students, entrepreneurs, and software.

Irish company Nearform’s contact tracing app to go live in the U.S.

The app, set to go live in Pennsylvania, marks the first use of the the Irish technology in the U.S.

Jefferson Health unveils plans for $762M Specialty Care Pavilion in Center City

The project, developed for Jefferson by National Real Estate Development, marks the next phase of National Development’s more than $1 billion revitalization of the East Market corridor.

Mercer County


New development team tapped for $2.6B investment at Philadelphia Navy Yard

While plans call for new, ground up development at the South Philadelphia property, they also involve the adaptive reuse of existing structures into various uses.

Colliers Announces Sale of 32 Building Portfolio Totaling 1,164,939 Square Feet

The buildings of Twinbridge Industrial Park and Veterans Industrial Park in Pennsauken, New Jersey, are 100% leased to 49 tenants.

AnPac Bio Medical Science Opens Lab in Spring House Park

Becoming part of the growing life sciences community in Greater Philadelphia, China-based AnPac Bio-Medical Science has opened its U.S. headquarters and a cancer screening lab in Spring House Innovation Park in Lower Gwynedd.

State panel OKs $2.5 million grant for 300 new Barclays jobs in Delaware

The project includes $6.9 million capital improvements to redesign space within its existing headquarters building in Wilmington to house the new employees.

PECO Financial Incentives

PECO offers technical assistance and financial incentives to help you save energy and money – even on recently completed projects. Incentives expire in 2021.
Aerial shot of Downtown Wilmington Delaware


Radnor-based pharmaceuticals company Idorsia establishes U.S. commercial operations and leadership team

The company has been established to further develop and embed its budding global commercial organization and realize the value of its innovations by ensuring patients can benefit from the its pioneering therapies.

New Jersey to build massive $400M ‘wind port,’ Gov. Murphy says

The 200-acre “wind port” would be located in Salem County next to the Hope Creek nuclear plant with the goal of aiding the state’s fledgling offshore wind industry.

Barclays to add more than 300 new customer service jobs at Wilmington headquarters

The new positions at the banking giant come with a $6.9 million capital investment to redesign the company’s waterfront offices.

Nerd Street Gamers raises $10M to continue rapid growth

The Philadelphia-based esports venue and events company is forging ahead with building out its online platform after seeing a pandemic-related boost.

ChenMed continues Philadelphia expansion, opens fifth primary care center for seniors

The new center, located in South Philadelphia, will offer services that help reduce barriers to healthy living such as transportation assistance, on-site medications, and more.

Cradle of Cures – Site Selection Magazine Feature

This article originally appeared in Site Selection Magazine’s July 2020 edition.

Greater Philadelphia is a center of excellence in cell and gene therapies.

Long revered as America’s “cradle of liberty,” Philadelphia is leading another revolution. Cell and gene therapies being created in the city’s prodigious cluster of clinical labs offer hope for treating the untreatable and curing the incurable. It is a young and fast-emerging field of modern medicine, and its cutting edge is Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia is becoming the ‘cradle of cures,’ a beacon for this entire industry,” says Bradley Campbell, president and COO of New Jersey-based Amicus Therapeutics. Amicus, having scoured medical hubs in the U.S. and Europe, chose Philadelphia as the site of its Global Research and Gene Therapy Center of Excellence, which opened
in March.

“We wanted to have a state-of-the-art lab and office facility that could help us attract the best gene therapy scientists in the world as we look to discover and develop next generation therapies for patients with rare diseases,” Campbell tells Site Selection. “We think Philadelphia is the perfect place for that.”

It’s no coincidence that Amicus built its $25 million facility in West Philadelphia’s University City, home to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, with which it has a partnership, and to Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). UPenn, working with Novartis, made medical history in 2017 when its leukemia treatment
for children and young adults became the first cell therapy to be approved by the FDA.

Shortly thereafter came approval for the nation’s first gene therapy, also developed in Philadelphia. Luxterna, a one-time treatment for inherited blindness, emerged from a collaboration between CHOP and Philadelphia’s Spark Therapeutics. Now developing a gene therapy treatment for hemophilia, Spark recently was acquired by Switzerland’s Roche for $4.3 billion.

Such signature achievements have helped to serve as a springboard. Philadelphia now is home to a growing roster of more than 30 cell and gene therapy development companies. Many in the region and in the industry have adopted the moniker “Cellicon Valley” to describe the region’s closely-knit biotech community. It’s a fitting description.

“There’s truly an incredible proportion of the world’s cell and gene therapy companies in University City and other places in the Philadelphia region,” says Joan Lau, CEO of Spirovant Sciences, another of Philadelphia’s emerging gene therapy companies. “What is happening here is extraordinary, and it can only occur with the type of density we have.”

A Strong Foundation for Growth

Philadelphia’s cell and gene therapy cluster has absorbed investment of more than $1.7 billion since the second half of 2015, according to the Cell & Gene Therapy and Connected Health Initiative led by the CEO Council for Growth. That is but one of many indicators of the perceived potential of advanced immunotherapies.

“What’s beautiful about gene therapy is that it’s extraordinarily targeted,” Spirovant’s Lau tells Site Selection. “You’re not looking at taking a pill and hoping it goes to the right place. You’re designing the molecule to target precisely the tissue or the organ that you are trying to alter.”

That only about 20 such therapies have received approval to date testifies to the ardor, expertise and investment required to shepherd potential treatments from concept to reality. Ideas come to fruition along a complex chain whose links include academia, hospitals, testing labs, contract researchers and contract manufacturers.

Philadelphia-based Imvax, whose lead program is a treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, sprang from research developed at Thomas Jefferson University. Chief Financial Officer Art Howe says Philadelphia has a deeply developed infrastructure that conveys distinct advantages upon its gene therapy cluster.

“There’s an incredibly rich ecosystem of suppliers and service providers,” Howe tells Site Selection. “There are hundreds and hundreds of companies that are part of this ecosystem, and that’s hugely important.”

Shanghai-based Wuxi AppTech is an increasingly prominent player in that shared ecosystem. Wuxi is the largest tenant at the South Philadelphia Navy Yard, a former military base that complements University City as a thriving hub of next generation medicine. Felix Hsu, Chief Commercial and Business Officer, describes Wuxi as “an enabler of innovation” for advanced therapy enterprises large and small.

“We help them develop their products, and then we help them manufacture those products,” Hsu says. Wuxi is nearing completion of its fourth building on the Navy Yard campus, a 95,000 sq.-ft. (8,900 sq.-m.) office and laboratory. Its clients include California-based Iovance Biotherapeutics, a cancer therapy firm, now moving into a sprawling manufacturing space at the Navy Yard.

Talent Leads the Way

As rapidly evolving technologies, cell and gene therapies crave talent. They find it in Philadelphia, home not only to UPenn, CHOP and Jefferson, but to other highly-regarded academic institutions such as Temple University, Drexel University, the University of the Sciences and the Wistar Institute, a nonprofit research center for
biomedical science.

“Everything we do stops and starts with people, and Philadelphia is a hotbed for developing talent in the scientific and disease areas,” says Usman “Oz” Azam, president and CEO of Philadelphia based Tmunity, which is developing immunotherapies for cancers and autoimmune diseases. Drawn by an attractive lifestyle and a cost of a living distinctly lower than the biotech hubs of Boston and San Francisco, Philadelphia is drawing talent from elsewhere, as well. Azam speaks of a “positive feedback loop” taking hold.

“Attracting more firms provides more job opportunities and thus attracts more talent from outside the Philadelphia region, which in turn makes Philadelphia even more desirable to relocating firms,” he says.

The cell and gene therapy space is poised for a breakout. The FDA expects a doubling of applications for treatments this year, and analysts predict annual approvals by mid-decade equivalent to the total number certified up to now. Imvax’s Howe believes Philadelphia is poised to reap the fruits of what it has sewn.

“Local leaders here have been tremendously supportive and proactive. They recognize the impact of this vibrant life sciences community. They are striving mightily to get additional funding for companies to locate here. They understand,” he says, “that this is a large part of the future of this city.”

This investment profile was prepared under the auspices of Select Greater Philadelphia. For more information, contact Meghan Kelly at 1-215-790-3726 or by e-mail at [email protected] Select Greater Philadelphia also presents a podcast showcasing stories of business successes and economic development across the Greater Philadelphia region.