Southern Research breaks ground on new $84M flagship biotech center

Southern Research
Southern Research groundbreaking on Monday, May 16th. (Camille Womack / Bham Now)

Southern Research broke ground today on a new flagship biotech center on the corner of Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. and Ninth Avenue South.

The new $84 million center will double the organization’s lab space for researching infectious diseases and greatly expand its work to develop new treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses.

Major Investment

“This project represents a major investment in the city of Birmingham and in the great work being done by our Southern Research team,” said Josh Carpenter, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research. “It builds on our strengths and puts us in a position for dynamic growth in the future.”

Other takeaways from the expansion include:

  • Jobs – The new center is expected to create 150 new jobs at Southern Research. Construction alone at the state of the art facility will create 1,100 project related jobs and generate $190 million in economic activity.
  • Economic Impact – The institution is expected to double its annual economic impact to $300 million a year after the facility is finished.
  • State Investment – For the first time ever in Southern Research’s 81 year history, the Alabama Legislature appropriated $45 million toward the campus.
  • Development – The new center will anchor the development of 200,000 square feet of new and renovated wet lab space for life sciences

In Attendance

(Southern Research)

Attending the event were Governor Kay Ivey, members of the Jefferson County delegation in the Alabama State Senate—Senators Rodger Smitherman, Jabo Waggoner and Greg Reed— Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, members of the Birmingham City Council and Jefferson County Commission and UAB President Ray Watts and University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis St. John IV. 

“Plant a Flag in the World of R&D

“It is a great day for Southern Research,” Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield told Bham Now. “It’s a great day for Birmingham and the state. We’ve been spending a lot of time and effort talking about innovation research and R&D. This is the first step of many steps that will be taking place in the future to help us get to the point where this region will plant a flag in the world of R&D, and commercialization.”

Alongside the new construction, Southern Research has contracted Brasfield & Gorrie to help renovate more than 40,000 square feet of its existing campus facilities.

What do you think of this exciting new development on Birmingham’s Southside? Tag us at @Bham Now on social media to tell us what you think.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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