Boston buyer seizes 10-building office park in Sorrento Mesa for life sciences campus

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Boston-based life sciences developer Longfellow Real Estate Partners is betting big on Sorrento Mesa as the future home of San Diego’s growing biotech industry.

The company announced last week that it had acquired Centerpark Plaza, a 10-building business park on nearly 17 acres of land off Flanders Drive, just south of Mira Mesa Boulevard and west of Camino Sante Fe.

Longfellow bought the property portfolio for approximately $ 130 million from Montana Avenue Capital, the developer said. He plans to invest undisclosed millions in converting the one- and two-story buildings, built in the 1980s, into top-notch research and laboratory suites.

“The Centerpark portfolio is attractive to us for a number of reasons, including the unique ability to acquire significant land and campus within a core biotech submarket,” said the Managing Director. by Longfellow, Nick Frasco, at the Union-Tribune. “At 17 acres, the site offers the opportunity to improve existing buildings in addition to intensification through the development of additional square feet with which to serve our tenants. “

The office park currently comprises 256,000 square feet of space, although the developer expects to almost double the total square footage by demolishing one of the one-story structures and erecting a new multi-level facility.

Founded 13 years ago, Longfellow is a privately held company with over 12 million square feet of laboratory and technology space spread across San Francisco, San Diego, Raleigh-Durham and Boston-Cambridge. The real estate investor first established itself in the San Diego market in 2018 and has since made eight acquisitions. Its local portfolio now totals 1.3 million square feet of research space spread across the Sorrento Valley and Sorrento Mesa.

The latest deal follows a teardown project less than two miles west of Centerpark Plaza along Oberlin Drive, where it plans to install 310,000 square feet of new life science space. Longfellow bought the 4-acre land in March, paying nearly $ 26 million for the land, according to real estate tracker CoStar. In addition, he is working on converting two towers adjacent to the freeway on Scranton Road into a life science campus called Biovista after acquiring the site for $ 130 million in 2020.

Sorrento Mesa continues to be popular with biotech builders and investors who have taken over older office buildings and open land in anticipation of growing demand from life science startups and publicly traded drugmakers. stock Exchange. The trend has been fueled by a lack of space in Torrey Pines, where the industry originally sprouted to be near renowned research institutions and UC San Diego.

Longfellow’s Centerpark Plaza project includes an overhaul of building interiors and facades, the introduction of high-end labs and an all-new center quad and expansive outdoor amenity space, Frasco said. The developer will also build a fitness center and collaborative spaces for tenants in line with the offers of its other properties.

Longfellow will complete the conversion of Centerpeak Plaza as it goes. The first round of research suites is expected to be completed in 12 months.


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