President Richard C. Levin announced in June that the university would buy a 17-building, 136-acre pharmaceutical campus that straddles the border of neighboring West Haven and Orange. The Bayer HealthCare complex would provide 550,000 square feet of new laboratory space, 275,000 square feet of office space and 600,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space. Bayer announced last fall that it would close the facility.

The purchase means more than just more room for Yale, which is chronically short of space for laboratories, offices and storage of library and museum collections. New lab space also enhances the university’s research capabilities, particularly at the School of Medicine. And it could encourage the New Haven area’s continued emergence as an incubator of biotech startups—there are 40 biotech companies in the area, many of them spin-offs from Yale research.

“Yale is already in the midst of a boom in the expansion of its science and medical facilities,” Levin said, noting that the university has added several million square feet of space in the last decade and has plans to build more. “The addition of this ready-made, state-of-the-art research space will allow that growth to accelerate at an unprecedented level—potentially making it possible for Yale scientists to develop new discoveries, inventions and cures years earlier. The availability of Bayer’s science laboratories will enable us to undertake research programs that we would not have had space to develop for a decade or more.”

Despite the purchase of the Bayer campus, Yale will continue with plans to add to its facilities in New Haven. “The heart of the Yale campus will always remain in New Haven,” Levin said. “In fact, the university is already committed to building more than 2 million square feet of new facilities in its home city over the next six years. And we are in discussions about the possibility of leasing a significant amount of space in Science Park to help strengthen its role as an incubator for science-based startup companies.”

As part of the purchase, Yale will make voluntary payments to West Haven and Orange proportionate to the voluntary payment made to New Haven. The municipalities will receive additional payment-in-lieu-of-taxes funds from the state of Connecticut in recognition of the property’s future nontaxable academic status. Yale will also invest $1 million over the next three to four years to enhance and strengthen the professional development of middle and high school science teachers in the Greater New Haven area.

Yale is developing plans for the best use of the facilities at the former Bayer complex.