A non-profit organization tasked with fostering bioscience industry in Los Angeles will make its home in a former courthouse in Culver City.

Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a facility lease with Bioscience Los Angeles County, Inc. - also known as BioLA - to reuse the vacant Culver City Courthouse, which was decommissioned in 2006.  The lease will be on a gratis basis for an initial five-year term, with options for three five-year extensions.

The $4-million project, financed through discretionary funds available to the Second Supervisorial District, will reconfigure the one-story structure to provide space for seminars, conferences, meetings, and other services.  

As part of the arrangement, BioLA is required to submit a business plan to the County's Chief Executive Officer demonstrating its ability to cover operating and maintenance costs for the facility, and to make meeting and conference facilities available for use by the County at a reduced rate.

The courthouse property is located closer to major research centers, life science, and tech companies in the health services field, according to a motion introduced by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a Pasadena-based firm which specializes in properties catering to life science companies, recently purchased an office campus three miles south for $39 million.