Invesco Buys 200 KSF Cambridge Life Sciences Campus

Acting on behalf of The Davis Cos., HFF sold The Quad, which comprises four warehouse and R&D buildings in West Cambridge.
The Quad, Cambridge, Mass.
The Quad, Cambridge, Mass.

The Quad, a 199,500-square-foot transitioning life science campus in the high-demand life sciences market of Cambridge, Mass., has come under new ownership. Acting on behalf of The Davis Cos., commercial real estate and capital markets services provider HFF recently sold the four-building property to Invesco Real Estate.

Sited in the West Cambridge submarket in the city’s Inner Suburbs, The Quad encompasses four warehouse and R&D buildings with the addresses of 10 Wilson Road, 40 Smith Pl. and 75 Smith Pl., as well as 75 Moulton St., home to a 37,500-square-foot laboratory and R&D facility Davis developed in 2017.

Investor interest in the 8.6-acre portfolio was strong, with HFF having conducted what turned out to be an extremely competitive bidding event. “The marketing process for the Quad highlighted two key trends we’re seeing in the market right now,” Ben Sayles, senior director with HFF, told Commercial Property Executive. “First off, investors are focused on the strong performance that accompanies assets in urban, in-fill locations—what once was considered a ‘fringe’ location is now very much en vogue. Secondly, we’re seeing an institutional acceptance of lab space as a mainstream product type—a trend we don’t see slowing down one bit.” 

HFF isn’t disclosing the sale price of the group of four assets; however, per Middlesex County land records, the four buildings sold for an aggregate $73 million. Invesco plans to transform the campus into a modern life sciences destination. The Davis Cos., which acquired the three older buildings in 2012, will continue its involvement with the portfolio as property manager and supervisor of the redevelopment project.

Burgeoning life sciences submarkets

Cambridge continues to be a global leader in the life sciences sector, and the laboratory real estate market reflects the city’s status. According to a report by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, the vacancy rate for lab space in Cambridge in the first quarter of 2018 was less than 1 percent, and it was even lower in the East Cambridge submarket. However, tenants searching for life sciences accommodations, like buyers on the hunt for investment opportunities, are responding accordingly.

“[Life sciences tenants] are finding new homes in the Inner Suburbs,” per the C&W report. “This market has benefited greatly from increasing demand by Cambridge life science companies seeking alternatives to the booming East Cambridge,” per the report.

Image courtesy of The Davis Cos.