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Texas Medical Center Breaks Ground On Flagship TMC3 Life Sciences Project

An aerial rendering of TMC3, a 37-acre life sciences campus in Houston's Texas Medical Center.

The Texas Medical Center has broken ground on its landmark 37-acre TMC3 life sciences campus, a $1.8B project aimed at positioning Houston as a life sciences leader.

TMC officials announced early Tuesday that construction has kicked off on Phase 1 of the project, which includes 950K SF of research space and will be anchored by a 700K SF building developed by Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners and strategic partner Braidwell, an investment firm focused on life sciences.

The initial phase will also include the 150K SF TMC3 Collaborative Building, a 500-plus room hotel with 65K SF of conference space, a 350-unit residential tower and 18.7 acres of double-helix-shaped public park space. Phase 1 is expected to open in fall 2023, while additional phases of TMC3 are still being finalized.

“The collective power of TMC’s hospitals and academic institutions has accelerated the pace of scientific discovery for years. TMC3 extends our collaboration to Fortune 100 life sciences companies and entrepreneurial ventures,” said TMC President and CEO William McKeon in a release announcing the launch of the project. “The impact on patients worldwide has the potential to be nothing short of life-changing.”

When fully built out, the TMC3 campus will total 6M SF of development. The campus is expected to generate up to $5.4B in annual economic growth for Texas, as well as 42,000 new jobs. TMC3 was designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects of Boston, the firm behind several Massachusetts life sciences clusters.

Drawing on that experience, lead architect David Manfredi said he sought to create an environment that facilitates collaboration between innovators from healthcare, science, academia, government and industry on new medicines, medical devices, diagnostic and digital health platforms, and treatment solutions.

Houston has an expanding pipeline of large-scale life sciences projects in the works, driven by investors and real estate players that are betting the sector will take off in a serious way. Hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital poured into the city last year, spurring many life sciences companies to expand and seek larger spaces.

Projects like TM3, The Ion, Texas A&M Innovation Plaza, Innovation Tower and Levit Green are expected to attract more life sciences companies to Houston, while also encouraging more startups to grow into larger users that will need more specialized space in the future.