AGC Biologics Buys 300KSF Boulder Plant

The global pharmaceutical company will invest $100 million to transform the Colorado facility, which had been owned and occupied by AstraZeneca.
5550 Airport Boulevard. Image courtesy of AGC Biologics

As part of a company-wide expansion initiative, AGC Biologics has acquired an approximately 330,000-square-foot life sciences property in Boulder, Colo. With the assistance of International Process Plants as transaction advisor, the global biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization purchased the commercial biopharmaceutical facility from AstraZeneca for an undisclosed amount with plans of investing $100 million to bring the building online.

Located at 5550 Airport Blvd., AGC’s new home last changed hands in 2015, when AstraZeneca bought the asset from Amgen Inc. for $14.6 million. The property has sat vacant since AstraZeneca shuttered the site to consolidate operations in January 2019. IPP also provided Seattle-based AGC with guidance on its global search for the appropriate site for the expansion endeavor. Colorado emerged victorious in the competition, beating out the State of Washington and locations in Germany and Denmark.


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By acquiring an existing facility and converting it to accommodate its biopharmaceutical CMDO business, AGC will be able to commence operations approximately 18 months sooner than it would have had it opted for a new-build facility. “Even though the supply of idled, state-of-the-art API, biologics, and finished dosing facilities is low, we still see very compelling economic reasons, and significant time-to-market advantages, for small and mid-sized CMO/CDMO firms to acquire second-hand manufacturing facilities versus completing new builds,” Ross Gale, vice president of acquisitions & consultancy with International Process Plants, told Commercial Property Executive. AGC expects operations at its new Boulder facility to get underway in April 2021.

Unexpected Boost

With advances in health care and the growing aging population, the U.S. life sciences real estate sector has been thriving over the last several years and commenced 2020 in a strong position. However, the unanticipated arrival of the coronavirus has further bolstered demand for the asset type. “We are seeing increased demand from manufacturers in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry as a direct result of COVID-19, in addition to a broader effort to on-shore production of critical pharma and biopharma assets from a supply security and quality control perspective,” Gale said.