Ensemble Buys Philadelphia Navy Yard Life Sciences Portfolio

WuXi Advanced Therapies fully occupies the three buildings in the city's 1,200-acre mixed-use campus.
400 Rouse Blvd. Image courtesy of DIGSAU

Ensemble Real Estate Investments has acquired a three-building portfolio totaling 366,800 square feet in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard. According to Yardi Matrix, Prologis sold the Class A assets which are fully leased to WuXi Advanced Therapies Inc.

The portfolio occupies nearly 23 acres at 4701 and 4751 League Island Blvd. and 400 Rouse Blvd. WuXi traces its presence in the Navy Yard back to 2008, when it acquired AppTec Laboratory Services, a tenant in the park since 2004. The firm expanded its presence in subsequent years to more than 400,000 square feet of lab and GMP space.

The 75,000-square-foot 4751 League Island was the location of WuXi’s first Navy Yard lease. Developed in 2004 and 2007, the Class A testing and manufacturing facility includes 23,000 square feet of office space, Yardi Matrix shows. The 150,000-square-foot lease at 4701 League Island followed in 2016, shortly after the LEED Gold-certified building’s completion. That property serves as a cell and gene therapy manufacturing center.

Completed earlier this year, the 140,000-square-foot 400 Rouse houses an advanced therapies testing facility. Spanning more than a city block, the DIGSAU-designed property is one of the largest LEED Gold life sciences buildings in Philadelphia.

The properties are some 8 miles south of Center City and less than 1 mile from the world’s largest coatings R&D center. The assets are accessible via Interstate 95, and Philadelphia International Airport is 5 miles west.

Future expansions on deck?

With the purchase, Ensemble’s Navy Yard life sciences footprint expands to five assets totaling some 550,000 square feet, following an overall investment of $155 million. The other two properties include Adaptimmune Therapeutics’ U.S. headquarters and the Iovance Biotherapeutics facility, still under construction.

All buildings encompass manufacturing, laboratory, R&D and office space suitable for clinical development and commercialization of engineered immunotherapies. Ensemble’s total Navy Yard portfolio adds up to more than 1.1 million square feet of completed space and four pad-ready sites valued at $360 million.

Ensemble’s Yard footprint is likely to grow, as PIDC recently selected the company and its partner Mosaic Development Partners to develop 109 acres at the site. The joint venture anticipates the project could produce up to $2.6 billion in investments and lead to significant job growth.