Discovery Labs Plans $500M Philly-Area Coworking Campus

Newly established by MLP Ventures, the platform company will redevelop two campuses in King of Prussia into a 1.6 million-square-foot ecosystem for health-care, life sciences and technology-enabled businesses.
The Discovery Labs – King of Prussia. Image courtesy of The Discovery Labs

The Discovery Labs, a newly launched platform company by MLP Ventures, is planning to introduce a 1.6 million-square-foot coworking complex to the market in suburban Philadelphia. Discovery will redevelop pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline’s Upper Merion West Campus and the Innovation at Renaissance Campus in King of Prussia, Pa., into a $500 million coworking destination for health-care, life sciences and technology-enabled companies.

MLP Ventures, formerly O’Neill Properties, set the stage for The Discovery Labs – King of Prussia in 2018 with the acquisition of GSK’s 1 million-square-foot Upper Merion West property for approximately $52 million, and the nearly $80 million purchase of a 640,000-square-foot Liberty Property Trust office portfolio, which later became Innovation. Discovery Labs has created a cutting-edge vision for the redevelopment project, uniting the two campuses into a coworking ecosystem replete with mission-critical infrastructure. Consisting of 12 buildings linked via glass walkways, the new complex will offer customizable office coworking space, flexible wet/dry lab space and collaborative working environments. The list of amenities at the property will include a $10 million state-of-the-art conference center, 275-seat auditorium, 14,000-square-foot fitness facility, as well as an outdoor amphitheater and high-end eateries. 

Catering to a cluster 

Discovery Labs – King of Prussia emerges in a market that is increasingly hungry for office/lab accommodations, spurred in great part by the life sciences sector. According to a report by CBRE, Philadelphia holds the eighth spot on the list of the top established life sciences hubs in the U.S., sandwiched between New York City and Los Angeles. The Philadelphia life sciences market made great strides in 2018, with venture capital investment in local companies reaching its highest level since 2007. Additionally, Philadelphia ranks fourth in the country’s top markets for medical research and health services.

Discovery has not indicated the location of its next coworking campus. However, the King of Prussia project will serve as the prototype for the establishment of campuses worldwide through the redevelopment of existing office and lab facilities.