Thursday, April 15, 2021

Keystone Property Group Lands Trio of Life Sciences Expansions at The Curtis

By Adrian Ponsen CoStar Analytics

Home to the country's first medical library and surgical amphitheater, Philadelphia has a long history of advances in healthcare research. But with some of the highest construction costs in the U.S., the city has also long been known as a challenging market for commercial development. Fast forward to 2021, and the combination of these forces has meant that the supply of modern lab facilities to accommodate the city’s growing life sciences industry has been falling short of tenant demand for years.

But the days of Philadelphia's lab space shortage could be numbered. The pandemic has dealt a serious blow to demand for traditional office space, as white-collar employers across a range of industries adapt to working from home. Meanwhile, recent leasing by a range of life sciences firms from Amicus to Zoetis has remained strong. Together, these trends have catalyzed a wave of conversions of traditional office buildings into lab facilities that can accommodate Philadelphia's growing roster of life science firms.

Across Center City and University City, at least 10 large office properties are planning conversions like these, with some of the largest renovations planned for The Curtis, 401 N. Broad St. and the Wanamaker Building. All eyes are on just how quickly these projects will lease and which will fill-up first.

Located less than five blocks from Thomas Jefferson University's fast-growing main healthcare campus and from Pennsylvania Hospital, one of the earliest established public hospitals in the U.S., Keystone Property Group's Curtis Center has scored some early wins.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Keystone announced three leases totaling 28,000 square feet with Imvax, Vivodyne and Applied Genetic Technologies.

The largest of these deals came from Imvax, which is pioneering treatments for brain cancer. The firm increased its existing space within the property from 15,699 to 21,066 square feet.

Vivodyne, which creates lab-grown replicas of human organs used for testing new drugs, took 6,230 square feet and will move from a smaller lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Florida-based Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. also opened its first Philadelphia office to be close to research happening at Wills Eye Hospital and took 1,000 square feet.

All of these leases were signed for spaces on three floors, where Keystone will also be opening INQ Labs in October 2021. At 23,362 square feet, INQ Labs will offer furnished suites with combinations of office and lab space for tenants from 3,500 to 6,000 square feet, allowing life science firms to occupy space quickly, with minimal upfront out-of-pocket expenses.

The Independence Hall area, where The Curtis is located, has been less of a magnet for traditional office users in recent years. But modern adaptations to older office buildings like these have potential to bolster the neighborhood’s economy significantly in the years ahead, especially as they tap into its long history of healthcare innovation, which dates back as far back as 1751 when Pennsylvania Hospital was founded.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Biotech Company Secures 44,000-SF Lease in Philadelphia

By Ingrid Tunberg

The life science company, Biomeme has signed a 44,000-square-foot lease at Netrality Data Centers’ multi-use facility, located at 401 N. Broad St. in Philadelphia, PA.

Netrality Data Centers originally acquired the 11-story, 1.3-million-square-foot building in 2014, and has since invested more than $50 million in capital improvements at the property in effort to position and enhance the space for life science users.

As a manufacturer of portable, real-time polymerase chain reaction testing solutions, Biomeme will utilize the leased space as its new corporate headquarters and will occupy the space with lab, manufacturing and office operations.

Biomeme plans to relocate from its current space at 1015 Chestnut St. in the fall of 2021.

The new lease triples the size of Biomeme’s current space, and allows for expanded production of the company’s devices and products.

“Netrality is proud to bring Biomeme into our robust ecosystem of life science, digital health and tech-enable companies that are uncovering cutting edge solutions,” says Gerald M. Marshall, CEO of Netrality Data Centers. “As the epicenter of connectivity in Philadelphia, Netrality provides the foundational elements for life sciences and biotech companies, like Biomeme, to access mission critical infrastructure and continuous uptime as they continue advancing healthcare technology including the fight against COVID-19.”

“Biomeme’s decision to move to 401 North Broad is a game changer for the building as we move aggressively into the life sciences arena,” states Dyer. “Their commitment to the building, along with our recent signing of the Nerd Street Gamers headquarters and LocalHost facility, solidify 401 North Broad’s position as the Philadelphia’s hub for creativity, innovation and technology.”

Monday, April 12, 2021

Crow Holdings Plans Large 1.2M SF Industrial Park in Carteret, NJ

By Linda Moss CoStar News 

Looking to meet the demand created by the e-commerce boom, Crow Holdings Industrial plans to build a three-building, 1.2 million-square-foot logistics development in Carteret, New Jersey.

The Dallas-based industrial arm of Crow Holdings in a statement said it purchased a 126-acre site from Glen Rock, New Jersey-based Rahway Arch Properties for the redevelopment project, which is slated to break ground this summer. The property at 300 Salt Meadow Road is located just off of Exit 12 of the New Jersey Turnpike.

Crow acquired the site in November for $86 million, according to public documents.

Crow is building the industrial complex, to be called Crow Holdings at Carteret, on a speculative basis, with no tenants lined up yet for the buildings. A number of developers have taken that strategy in New Jersey, where the demand for distribution spaces has outstripped the supply as e-commerce shopping has taken off, especially amid the pandemic.

During most of the 20th century, the site was an industrial location for several manufacturing companies. The property was owned for years by American Cyanamid, which used it as a waste disposal site. Over the past decade, the property underwent environmental remediation through the leadership of Rahway Arch, ultimately receiving full approvals from New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection.

“The redevelopment of this site is good for the town as a tax ratable and because it brings more jobs,” Rinaldo D’Argenio, Rahway Arch’s managing member, said in a statement.

Crow expects to have the first building completed in the first half of next year. The three properties will range in size from 335,000 to 480,000 square feet. Each one will feature 40-foot clear ceiling heights and in aggregate will include 140 trailer parking spots, 174 dock doors and six drive-in ramps.