The Food and Drug Administration formally signed a lease yesterday for 20,000 square feet of space at the Columbus Center, off Pratt Street and the Inner Harbor, for its Food Safety Research Unit.
The lease will run for 10 years. The agency has two five-year extension options.
FDA officials said they plan to consolidate several of its seafood research facilities from around the country into the new Baltimore facility as the agency prepares to launch its first national seafood safety inspections program.
The new office will conduct molecular research on seafood to help in the FDA's oversight of the $3.8 billion seafood industry in the United States, the FDA said.
At least 24 of the government's top seafood scientists will work at the facility.
In the agreement, announced in March, the University of Maryland Center for Marine Biotechnology, which also is at the Columbus Center, and the Food Safety Research Unit will collaborate on some projects.
Work is expected to begin soon on building and equipping the FDA's seafood research offices so they can open early next year.
Pub Date: 9/17/96