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Brookfield, Tishman Speyer Make Big Push Into Life Sciences


Global real estate giants Brookfield and Tishman Speyer today announced moves that will see them grow their presence in the life sciences sector in the U.S. and UK.

Brookfield announced the creation of a new life sciences platform to be called ARC, which will bring its 1.6M SF of UK life sciences assets under one management, and provide a springboard for it to buy and build more.

Meanwhile, Breakthrough Properties, the life sciences joint venture of Tishman and Bellco Capital, said it had raised $3B for a new fund to buy and build new assets in the U.S. and Europe. 

On both sides of the pond, real estate investors are targeting life sciences because demand for space from occupiers outstrips supply. In the UK, JLL said there is £20B of capital targeting a sector where deal volumes were less than £3B last year.

Brookfield’s ARC — which stands for Advanced Research Centres — will see it combine the 50% stake it owns at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus it bought in 2020 with three of the life sciences-led business parks it bought from TPG in 2021.

Brookfield has worked alongside CoreLife Investors over the last two years to build the ARC platform. CoreLife’s co-founders, Stuart Grant and Graham Stanley, have played a key role in building the team and advising Brookfield on acquisitions and dispositions. 

Today, ARC’s portfolio consists of 1.6M SF of existing assets and 5M SF of development potential across the UK’s golden triangle of London, Cambridge and Oxford. It includes Harwell Science and Innovation Campus — a joint venture with the UK government — alongside Oxford Business Park, Uxbridge Business Park and Manbre Wharf at Hammersmith. The wholly-owned sites will be renamed ARC Oxford, ARC Uxbridge and ARC West London.

Brookfield said it had plans for further growth across the UK and Europe and is in active discussions on several potential new sites. By the mid-2020s, more than 1.5M SF will be developed across the 700-acre site at Harwell; the space available at Oxford will increase by 75%, with a 750K SF expansion introducing new serviced lab space.

In a new move for Brookfield in the UK, ARC will build Motherlabs, a science-ready accelerator and incubator space at select sites, offering flexible space to startup and spin-out firms. The first Motherlabs will be opened at ARC West London in July 2022.

ARC will bring together scientists across the network through a tailored membership offering business mentorship and advice, a programme of leadership events, community events and new amenities to spark connections, as well as a bursary scheme to encourage more women into science.

Tishman’s Breakthrough raised $3B in direct capital and co-investments to scale its portfolio of life sciences assets, beating its equity-raising target of $1.5B. 

It is the largest real estate fund dedicated exclusively to the life sciences sector, excluding recapitalizations of existing portfolios, according to CBRE and JLL Research.  

Founded in 2019, Breakthrough has 4.6M SF of projects in the pipeline across San Diego, Boston/Cambridge, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, and Oxford and Cambridge, UK. Breakthrough will use the newly raised funds to finance its ongoing developments, which are in various stages of design, construction and pre-development, and to fuel its pursuit of additional opportunities throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Through a range of ground-up campus developments, lab conversions and StudioLabs, the company’s flex lab program geared toward hyper-growth startups, Breakthrough looks to provide environments to the full spectrum of life sciences innovators, ranging from venture-backed discovery companies to established big pharma anchors.