Coral Gables firm plans to acquire bio-science building in Port St. Lucie for $14.5M

The city government seized the building after guaranteeing a $64 million loan to finance its construction for the defunct Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida

Jun.June 30, 2018 11:15 AM

The former home of the defunct Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida

A Coral Gables firm plans to acquire a bio-science building from the city of Port St. Lucie for $14.5 million.

The Port St. Lucie city council approved a letter of intent from RER Ventures in Coral Gables to acquire the building and its nine laboratories.

The city council also directed the city manager and city attorney to negotiate a sale agreement with RER Ventures, which invests in distressed real estate.

An independent appraisal valued the 107,000-square-foot building at $14.5 million, the price RER Ventures offered to pay.

RER Ventures also proposed to pay 20 percent of that price, or $2.9 million, as a down payment, and to pay the city the $11.6 million balance over five years.

The city seized the property last year after its previous occupant, the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI), which shut down in 2015 after about two years in business.

The city guaranteed a $64 million loan to finance construction of the building and has been repaying the debt since VGTI closed.

In addition to nine laboratories, the building has private offices, spaces for conferences and lectures, and a private cafe. [] – Mike Seemuth

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