Governor McKee Announces Major Life Sciences Development Project to Move Forward in the I-195 Innovation and Design District

212,000 square foot, 7-story building funded in part by an $81.7M CDC grant will house the State’s new health lab, life sciences labs for Brown University, and additional bio-technology space

ANCORA L&G selected as developer following competitive RFP process

PROVIDENCE, R.I., October 04, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Governor Dan McKee today announced that a major life sciences development project is moving forward in the state’s Innovation and Design District on the former I-195 land. The 212,000 square foot, 7-story building will house a new public health lab for the State of Rhode Island, while also providing additional lab space available for lease to organizations in the local life sciences community. Ancora L&G – a 50:50 partnership between the alternative asset origination arm of leading United Kingdom financial services group, Legal & General, Legal & General Capital, and North Carolina-based real estate developer, Ancora – has been selected as the developer for the State Health Laboratories following a competitive RFP process.

"Rhode Island has momentum – and this project is crucial to ensuring the momentum continues in the areas of public health and our economy," said Governor Dan McKee. "We’re grateful for all the partners who came together to ensure Rhode Island maximizes this significant economic development opportunity while advancing the state’s important public health goals."

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) State Health Laboratories will anchor the facility, with the remaining floors available to academic and industry partners in the biotechnology field. The 80,000-square-foot state-of-the-art State Health Laboratories will provide updated and flexible space to accommodate biological and chemical testing for a variety of infectious disease, environmental, and forensic testing services.

To help attract additional tenants and encourage a thriving mix of public and private entities focused on health and medicine, Brown University has signed a letter of intent with Ancora to lease 20,000 square feet of laboratory space in the building.

This public/private partnership follows a condominium model with ownership of the State Health Laboratories unit conveyed to the State of Rhode Island on completion, and Ancora L&G retaining ownership of the private laboratory space. Funding for the $81.7 million state laboratory comes from an Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The total project cost is expected to be $165 million.

The project is the result of a multi-partner collaboration, which alongside Ancora L&G and its development partner GRE, a regional development services company serving the Science and Technology sector, includes the RI Department of Administration, the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission, the RI Commerce Corporation, the RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and RIDOH.

Building on its long-standing commitment to supporting Jewelry District projects that contribute to the economic vitality of the city and the state, Brown University has signed a letter of intent with Ancora Partners to lease 20,000 square feet of laboratory space in the building for a period of 10 years. Brown has a substantial amount of academic activity relevant to the mission of RIDOH located nearby, including education and research at the Warren Alpert Medical School, Laboratories for Molecular Medicine and School of Public Health. This summer, Brown began work toward creating an integrated life sciences building in the district and simultaneously developed an expansive plan to significantly increase the impact of its research benefiting communities locally, nationally and globally.

The public design review process will begin at the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission meeting on October 19 where Ancora L&G will present their design. There will also be an opportunity for public comment and a presentation by the Commission’s design consultant.

With 50,000 square feet of direct usable space, the new lab will offer a larger, more modern and technologically advanced workspace than the current state health lab located at 50 Orms Street. Like the Orms Street location, the new lab will include a Biosafety Level 3 facility and will be able to provide critical services for a variety of infectious disease, environmental, and forensic testing needs. The updated space will allow the State Health Laboratory to be more flexible in response to emerging threats and applying new technologies including the expanding field of genome sequencing.

View source version on


Matthew Sheaff
Senior Communications Advisor
(401) 536-5748