San Diego Life Sciences Portfolio Lands $71M Loan

HFF facilitated the five-year floating-rate financing, which will be used to transform two Sorrento Mesa buildings into Class A lab space.
Sorrento Mesa life sciences portfolio

Bioscience Properties Inc. and Singerman Real Estate LLC have received $70.5 million in financing to convert two buildings into a 230,000-square-foot life sciences portfolio in Sorrento Mesa, Calif. HFF facilitated the five-year, floating-rate bank loan for the property, which will be converted into Class A laboratories. The property is currently 65 percent leased to two tenants—Abzena PLC and TriLink Biotechnologies. 

Located in the San Diego area, the portfolio includes The Peak at Wateridge, a 180,000-square-foot, two-story office/R&D building and 6325 Lusk, a 50,005-square-foot, single-story life sciences building. 

“San Diego remains one of the top life science markets in the country,” Zack Holderman, HFF senior director, told Commercial Property Executive. “The ability of the sponsor to identify buildings with the appropriate characteristics to successfully convert the asset into a formalized lab use enabled us to successfully market the bridge loan to fully capitalize the reposition.”

Sorrento Mesa life sciences portfolio

Furthermore, Holderman noted the sponsor is recognized as a leader in San Diego for this type of business plan and has the expertise to execute this complex opportunity.

“Having such a qualified sponsor and sound market fundamentals enabled us to successfully market the facility to a broad range of lending sources,” he said. “Through a very competitive process, we ultimately selected a lender who had the knowledge and comfort level with the business plan to provide a strong loan.”

Top life sciences market

The Peak at Wateridge is located at 10770 Wateridge Drive on roughly 11.1 acres, while 6325 Lusk is situated on a 5.5 acre-site. Both offer convenient access to major freeways, including interstates 5, 8, 15 and 805.

San Diego is one of the top three life sciences markets in the U.S. Sorrento Mesa is one of the metro’s primary submarkets, as the “cluster” effect of life sciences tenancy makes itand the larger regiona target for companies in the industry.

“Demand for space, particularly state-of-the-art design and functionality, is critical for tenants seeking to expand or relocate to San Diego,” Holderman said. “The four primary submarkets in San Diego for life science have each experienced compression in vacancy and demonstrable growth in base rental rate over the past several years. HFF is consistently educating new capital sources, seeking to provide debt or equity, for developers and owners interested in the life science sector.”

Heavy interest from lenders

Interest from the lending community was described as “very strong,” with several qualified lenders providing multiple options. HFF credits that to the health of the bridge market, which is as strong as it has been over the past several months.

“We identified multiple groups interested in the lab space that had not previously participated in the space,” Holderman said.

In addition to Holderman, the HFF debt placement team also included Senior Managing Director Tim Wright, Senior Associate Olga Walsh and real estate analyst Daniel Pinkus.

In November, a joint venture between Singerman Real Estate and Ocean West Capital Partners sold The Hubb, a 210,428-square-foot premier creative office property in Long Beach, Calif., for $60.5 million to Redwood Partners.

Images courtesy of HFF