Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Philadelphia Navy Yard Development Get Huge Life Science Investment from Oxford Properties

By Mark Heschmeyer CoStar News

Canada’s Oxford Properties Group is partnering with Ensemble/Mosaic to own and create a 3 million-square-foot life science hub at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.

The agreement includes Oxford’s investment in five existing life sciences assets owned by Ensemble Real Estate Investments, and Ensemble/Mosaic’s first two planned life sciences properties. In addition, Oxford will look to partner in all future life sciences projects on sites controlled by Ensemble/Mosaic at the Navy Yard.

This is Oxford’s first investment in Philadelphia and further expands the firm’s extensive life science portfolio, which includes over 2 billion U.S. dollars of investment activity in North America in the past year. Oxford has now grown its North American life science business to 10 strategic markets from coast to coast.

“Building a dedicated life science business of scale remains one of our highest conviction global investment strategies, and our teams continue to do so in a sustained, yet highly targeted fashion,” Chad Remis, executive vice president of North America operations at Oxford, said in a statement.

Remis added that Oxford believes Philadelphia is poised to become a leading life science market due to the confluence of first-class educational and research institutions plus a number of innovative companies and talent whose growth is being powered by increasing levels of governmental and private funding.

“The Navy Yard has emerged as the heart of gene and cell therapy, and we are excited to bring our capital and capabilities in partnership with Ensemble/Mosaic to create a world-class life science innovation hub,” Remis said.

The two companies came together via a formal investor selection process, according to Kam Babaoff, chairman of Ensemble.

Key components of the agreement include the following:

  • Oxford providing an undisclosed amount but what it calls a “substantial investment” in five existing life sciences buildings in the Navy Yard owned by Ensemble Real Estate Investments: 300, 351 and 400 Rouse Blvd. and 4701 and 4751 League Island Blvd. The buildings are fully leased to life sciences companies including Iovance Biotherapeutics, Adaptimmune Therapeutics and WuXi Advanced Therapies.
  • Oxford will also invest an undisclosed but substantial investment in the first phase of the partnership’s two new development projects: 1201 Normandy Place, a four story, 137,000-square-foot lab building, and 333 Rouse Blvd., a two story, 105,000-square-foot lab building. Construction of both buildings will commence in 2022 on a speculative basis.
  • Through its agreement with PIDC — Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation which oversees all management and development of the Navy Yard — the partners envision developing in excess of 2 million square feet of life science space.

Ensemble/Mosaic will continue as developer and asset manager, collaborating closely with Oxford. Ensemble will provide property management services for the partnership’s Navy Yard life science portfolio.

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