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Harrison Street Buys Watertown Biomanufacturing Facility For Record Price

Arranta Bio's facility at 650 Pleasant St. in Watertown.

Harrison Street Real Estate has paid a record price for a biomanufacturing asset, securing a 74K SF property geared toward mRNA vaccine production in Watertown in a sale-leaseback deal.

The Chicago-based firm spent $92M for 650 Pleasant St. from Arranta Bio and leased the facility back to the contract development and manufacturing organization for 15 years, Colliers announced. The brokerage claims the $1,250 per SF sales price is a record for a Good Manufacturing Practice facility. 

“Harrison Street recognized the inherent value of Arranta Bio and acted expeditiously to close on the opportunity,” Colliers Managing Director Frank Petz said in a statement. 

Harrison Street and Arranta Bio didn’t respond to requests for comment this week. The deal was first reported by Traded Boston

Arranta completed a build-out of the Watertown facility in 2020 and said last month it will seek to produce mRNA vaccines. 

"We are delighted to be able to expand access to provide best-in-class mRNA capacity with the first end-to-end platform in a single facility,” Arranta CEO and Executive Chair Mark Bamforth said last month in a statement

The facility is one of the largest biomanufacturing sites in the region's urban core, larger than Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ 40K SF Watertown project but smaller than the 310K SF former Sanofi biomanufacturing plant acquired by CDMO Resilience earlier this year. 

Harrison Street’s local portfolio includes Cambridge’s Osborn Triangle, which it acquired for $1.1B in 2019 with Boston-based Bulfinch and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology subsidiary. The Kendall Square complex is adjacent to MIT and includes tenants Pfizer, Novartis and life sciences incubator LabCentral.  

Arranta touts itself as the industry’s leading microbiome CDMO and is building another new space at Lincoln Property Co.’s Boxborough facility, a redevelopment of a former Cisco Systems facility.

Colliers Executive Vice President Curtis Cole, Managing Director Matt Sherry, Executive Vice President Jeanne Pinado, Senior Advisor John Nasca and Financial Analyst Brooke Howard joined Petz in the transaction.