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UMass Biotech Manufacturing Project Moves Forward

A tentative agreement has been reached to build UMass Dartmouth’s proposed $22-million biomanufacturing facility in Fall River on land that had more recently been offered as a site for a casino, university and city officials told SouthCostToday.com.

A final decision will be made after additional review at the state level. The $22 million facility, which would be funded with a mix of state and university money, was originally planned as the anchor tenant in a proposed 300-acre BioPark in Fall River, MA.

A decision by the Fall River Redevelopment Authority last May to sell the original site to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for development as a resort casino threw had put the project in doubt. However, city officials reportedly discovered a deed restriction prohibiting a casino on the site and decided this week to rescind the sale and revive the BioPark project.

Under the tentative agreement reached between the university and the city, the Fall River Redevelopment Authority would donate several acres of land to UMass for the facility; the facility would be sited closer to the front of the park than planned originally. The remainder of the 300-acre park would be developed by the Fall River RDA as a biotechnology business park. Covenants further reinforcing the biotechnology focus of the development will be written into the deed, officials told SouthCoastToday.com.

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