Real Estate - Commercial

Technology Firm Setting Up Lab In UNCW Facility

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 12, 2017
MicroSolv Technology Corp. has leased lab space in the University of North Carolina Wilmington's MARBIONC center. (Photo courtesy of UNCW)
A company that previously moved its headquarters to Leland from New Jersey is currently moving its production and support laboratory from the state of New York to a UNCW facility in Wilmington.

MicroSolv Technology Corp., a firm that manufactures and markets technology used in analytical, organic and biochemistry laboratories, has leased about 900 square feet in the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MARBIONC center, part of the university's CREST Research Park at 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane.

It's been the company's intention all along to consolidate all of its divisions in the Wilmington area, said Bill Ciccone, president of MicroSolv. The firm's offices, packaging, warehouse, accounting and marketing departments are in Leland and will stay there.

"But instead of building in Leland, we decided to lease the laboratory space in the university because we're going to be collaborating with the university at many levels," Ciccone said. "It's a good thing for both of us."

Right now, some of the company's research is also done in a California facility, but "we're hoping to bring that to Wilmington maybe in 2019," he said.

Ron Vetter, associate provost of research and dean of the graduate school at UNCW, said this fiscal year will mark the first time that revenues will exceed expenses in the portion of MARBIONC leased to industry tenants, if everything holds as it stands now.

The leased portion of the 69,000-square-foot MARBIONC center, which is short for Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina, has seven tenants including MicroSolv, with about five spaces left to lease depending on their configuration, Vetter said. Of the last two tenants to join the industry list before MicroSolv, one picked MARBIONC over a facility in Boston and another chose the UNCW center after looking in Research Triangle Park, he said.

Other lab space in the center used for academics and university research.

The facility was finished in 2013 and accepted its first industry tenant in 2014, with the current general lease rate around $34 per square foot, though that number varies depending on a tenant's lease agreement, Vetter said.

"We market it and we have a leasing agent that's on staff who's out there trying to help us get additional tenants," Vetter said. "We'd like to fill it [completely] next year."

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