Philadelphia’s Biotech Real Estate Market is About Location, Location and Tax Breaks

The Navy Yard – a Life Science Hub (pictured)

As mentioned in our previous post, Philadelphia is positioning itself as a top life science biotech hub.  One of the top reasons are the incentives available for real estate purchases in the region.  Specifically, the City of Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now offer numerous tax advantages to life science companies setting up shop in the historic ‘Navy Yard’. 

This area, also known at the birthplace of the US Navy, dates back to the countries’ founding in 1776.  Like many shipyards throughout the country, the Navy Yard was closed after WWII and eventually converted in office and retail space in the 1990’s.

Within the last 5 years, life science companies, both big and small, have moved into the area including GSK, Adaptimmune, Spark Therapeutics, and iCeutica, to name of few.  Particularly attractive for start-up, small and mid-size biotech companies, these tax incentives allow companies to use that additional cash flow needed to invest in their R&D initiatives and stimulate growth. 

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Types of Tax Incentives 

There is a suite of tax incentive plans that include tax credits for Federal and State Historic building renovation projects, dedicated R&D infrastructure, and job creation. In addition, there are specific zones/tax incentive plans (listed below) within the Navy Yard that have specific missions and benefits associated with them.  After a quick review, the best thing to do is fill out the inquiry form and a real estate representative will be in touch with you to discuss specific properties and your qualifications.  

Before moving forward with any purchase, we highly recommend you discuss with a tax professional to help estimate your actual tax savings and take advantage of all options you may qualify for.

Here are details on 2 of the key tax incentive zones: 

1.  Keystone Innovation Zone

Keystone Innovation Zone’s mission is to promote innovation and commercialization in the life science space through fostering collaboration with the academic and research institutes in the region.  This plan offers many benefits including up to $100,000 in tax credits and loan-interest financing for life science companies.

2. Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone

Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone offers life science companies various tax reductions, exemptions, abatements, or credits in corporate taxes, franchise taxes, financial institution taxes, income taxes, and real estate taxes.


That's Not All

There are other centers in the greater Philadelphia that have similar programs. One even close to ClinSmart's headquarters in Bucks County, Pennsylvania is The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center.

If you’d like to know more about what’s happening in the Navy Yard, visit and subscribe to their blog. If you'd like to stay updated on a variety of issues that are important to biotech teams, become an email subscriber of the ClinSmart blog!

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