Greenwood initially pledged $8.5 million in taxpayer money to help entrepreneurial scientists start a pharmaceutical company in the city that could eventually lead to a science campus.
But about $4 million more has been spent along the way — first to pay for engineering and other costs as the company’s building plans came together, then legal and accounting fees when the company became unable to pay its bills and closed its doors. No new jobs were created.
The owners of Elona Biotechnologies had agreed to build a facility and locate it in Greenwood if the city would financially back construction and offer other funding. The city borrowed $6.5 million to lend to Elona and offered a $500,000 cash grant paid out of special taxing districts known as tax-increment financing, or TIF, districts and a $1.5 million no-interest, forgivable loan through the redevelopment commission.