BioMed to Grab Premier Property in Seattle’s Steamy Life Sciences Market

BioMed Realty Trust will hit the half-million-square-feet mark in Seattle's sizzling life sciences sector with its latest acquisition.

Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor307 Westlake Avenue North  Seattle Wash

BioMed Realty Trust Inc. will hit the half-million square feet mark in Seattle’s sizzling life sciences sector with the acquisition of 307 Westlake Avenue North, a 116,000-square-foot building in the South Lake Union innovation district.  The property traded for a pretty penny, however, as Jim Cullinan, a vice president with BioMed Realty Trust, told Commercial Property Executive, “While the market is competitive, we see this $89.7 million purchase as a smart investment for the short and long-term.”

Smart, indeed; the state-of-the-art building is 99 percent leased.

BioMed Realty acquired 307 Westlake from a joint venture involving Vulcan Real Estate and Seattle Biomedical Research Institution, the global health organization that maintains its headquarters and primary research facility in 84,800 square feet of the five-story building. Vulcan and Seattle completed development of the property in 2004, delivering more than 100,000 square feet of office space and nearly 8,500 square feet of retail space.  In addition to Seattle BioMed–which has no connection to BioMed Realty–the four-name tenant roster includes Juno Therapeutics, AttoDx, and RareCyte.

Cullinan, reiterated, “Seattle is a very competitive and hot market right now, especially in South Lake Union. BioMed Realty sees our investment in 307 Westlake as a great long-term value for our company and shareholders as we grow our presence in the dynamic core innovation district.”

Upon the anticipated first-quarter closing of the 307 Westlake deal, BioMed Realty will have a 500,000-square-foot footprint in Seattle that includes the REIT’s 96,300-square-foot BioMed Realty Research Center, which is presently being expanded with the addition of a 121,000-square-foot structure.

Life sciences real estate investors have every reason to vie for assets in Seattle. According to a 2014 report by commercial real estate services firm JLL, Seattle is among the top 10 life sciences clusters in the U.S.