Saturday, March 19, 2022

Gattuso, Drexel To Develop 11-Story Life Science Building in Philadelphia

 By Caleb Hayes CoStar Research

Gattuso Development Partners is partnering with Drexel University to build an 11-story, 500,000-square-foot life science research and laboratory facility on the school's campus in Philadelphia's University City area.

The building will be located at 3201 Cuthberg St., adjacent to the historic Armory. The building will be developed on a site currently being used as a recreational field by some of Drexel's varsity athletic teams, student organizations and intramural and sports clubs, which will be relocated to the university's Vidas Athletics Complex.

Gattuso, which is teaming up Vigilant Real Estate Holdings and The Baupost Group on the project, plans to lease the Cuthberg Street site from Drexel. Drexel plans to lease about 60,000 square feet of the building for academic and research uses. The university will host its core research and business development operations, as well as labs that will be used for research space and academic programs within the Drexel community, at the new space. Gattuso also has signed commitments from other life science tenants representing more than 55% of the available space at the project, the partnership said in a press release.

"This project will offer the life science community the kind of space they need and where they need it: in the middle of the University City research corridor," Anne Cummins, co-founder and chief operating officer of Gattuso, said in the press release. "The building's robust infrastructure and unique features will provide substantial functionality and flexibility that will enable and accelerate the development of science and commercialization."

The facility, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, is being custom-designed for life science research and will include expanded floor-to-floor heights, a state-of-the-art HVAC system specially designed for laboratory research, fully enclosed loading docks, best practice chemical storage space and pH neutralization capability, five service elevators and generous amounts of space designated for tenant equipment and vertical shaft infrastructure, according to the release.

Construction on the 11-story life science facility is slated to begin this fall and is expected to be completed by fall 2024.

This facility is one of the latest proposed life science projects in University City. Spark Therapeutics is planning to build a $575 million, 500,000-square-foot gene therapy innovation center at Drexe's campus at 30th and Chestnut streets through a 99-year ground lease.

"The demand for life science development continues to hold incredible potential for economic growth throughout the city and region," John Gattuso, co-founder and CEO of the namesake company, said in the release. "We see the Drexel project as a catalyst for that growth, which will continue to leverage new private investment and generate jobs as it anchors the next great wave of life sciences development.”

This Drexel facility also marks the third major life science project for Gattuso, including the recent completion of the $125 million, 137,000-square-foot Iovance Biotherapeutics research and production facility at 300 Rouse Blvd. in Philadelphia's Navy Yard. Gattusso is also leading the ongoing construction of a 130,000-square-foot cGMP facility at 2500 League Island Blvd. at the Navy Yard.

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