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Port St. Lucie to hear offer to buy Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute building

Posted at 6:14 AM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-27 09:30:26-04

The city of Port St. Lucie may finally sell the vacant building that once was home to the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute.

A special council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall to discuss the offer and how to move forward.

A company called RER Ventures LLC is offering to buy the building for $14.5 million, which is its appraised value.

The building is on Discovery Way in Port St. Lucie. The city took possession of it in August 2017 and has been trying to sell it since.

RER Ventures says it will use the building for bioscience research and testing, similar to what VGTI did.

According to our news partners at TCPalm.com, RER Ventures of Coral Gables is part of the RER Financial Group LLC, a nationwide real estate and financial consulting firm.

Among RER's projects are development of a student-housing high-rise at Florida International University and management of housing and hospitality facilities at 40 military bases.

The building has been vacant since VGTI shut down in October 2015.

VGTI was part of an effort by former Gov. Jeb Bush to create a biotech cluster on the Treasure Coast that would lay the ground for spin-off private companies.

Once home to Digital Domain, VGTI and Torrey Pines, the state invested hundreds of millions of dollars to lure research institutes and other technology companies. Today only Torrey Pines remains.

The city owes $102 million in debt on the building, since renamed the Florida Center for Bio-Sciences.