BioMed Secures Tenant for 200 KSF San Diego Project

A Fortune 50 company inked a long-term deal to serve as the sole occupant of APEX, a state-of-the-art life sciences property currently under construction.
Kevin Tremblay, Senior Director, BioMed Realty. Image courtesy of Biomed Realty

BioMed Realty has commenced construction of APEX, a 204,000-square-foot development in San Diego’s University Towne Center tech and life sciences hub, and already, the national life sciences real estate company has found a tenant to occupy the property in its entirety. BioMed signed a Fortune 50 company to a long-term lease of the project.

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APEX. Image courtesy of Biomed Realty

Apex will take shape at 9775 Towne Center Drive, a property BioMed acquired as part of an $83.9 million portfolio purchase from Arden Realty in 2015. The address had been home to a 105,000-square-foot building that was developed in 1986 and sat vacant at the time of its acquisition. APEX will take the now demolished facility’s place, rising four stories and offering a host of state-of-the-art features designed to entice the industry’s top talent. BioMed’s securing of a full-building tenant at APEX at the start of construction activity is indicative of the current state of the San Diego life sciences market.

“Venture capital investment in San Diego’s life sciences sector continues to fuel start-ups, as well as support the growth of existing companies. This has resulted in more demand than we have seen in more than a decade,” Kevin Tremblay, senior director with BioMed Realty, told Commercial Property Executive. “Currently, we are in a supply-constrained market, especially in the submarkets of Torrey Pines and UTC. We expect conditions to remain the same through much of 2020.” APEX is on schedule to reach completion in 2021.

Closing the gap

San Diego is one of the top life sciences hubs in the U.S., trailing only Boston-Cambridge and the San Francisco Bay Area, and developers are racing to respond to the increasing demand for related accommodations. There’s just one hindrance to the growth plan: space.

“There is a lack of developable land in San Diego as a region and the challenge is significantly greater in the core life sciences submarkets of Torrey Pines, UTC and Sorrento Mesa,” Tremblay said. “In response, BioMed Realty continues to deliver high-quality offerings to our tenant partners and is active in acquiring office and industrial projects which we reposition to Class A life sciences campuses.”

Recently, BioMed, a Blackstone portfolio company, acquired more than 230,000 square feet at two campuses in Sorrento Mesa; the company plans to begin redeveloping the properties in 2020. In September, BioMed celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Novel Therapeutics at the University of California San Diego’s Science Research Park campus, the result of a $92 million investment from the company. With the APEX project underway, BioMed’s San Diego life sciences portfolio totals approximately 3 million square feet.