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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is bio med the new future of the Eastside?

A few months ago a Spanish-biotechnology company announced a major expansion of its hilltop production facility in El Sereno. That biotech plant, operated by Grifols, may eventually have some company.

The city is looking at teaming up with the County of Los Angeles to merge some of their redevelopment efforts east of the Los Angeles River, "including the creation of a biomedical focus area." The proposal to merge the city run Adelante Eastside Redevelopment Project Area, which includes portions of El Sereno and Boyle Heights, with the county's Whiteside Redevelopment Project area has been in the works for some time. The proposal is on today's City Planning Commission agenda.

Grifols said it expects to hire hundreds of new workers for its plant in El Sereno. But another big draw of the proposed "bio medical focus of the area" is the large amount of medical research taking place on or near the USC Health Science Campus in Boyle Heights. But don't expect Boyle Heights or El Sereno to turn into a bio medical boom time anytime soon. A 2007 Los Angeles Business Journal story notes the slow progress USC had made by proposing to build a 100-acre bio tech park back in 2001.

Photo from Grifols.com

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