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Oxford Properties’ £425M Buy Could Be A Life Sciences Play

Victoria House in Holborn

Oxford Properties is in talks to buy a 300K SF office block in London’s Midtown area for £425M, and it is considering repositioning the building as a life sciences scheme. 

The Canadian investment giant has beaten off a host of other bidders and is in negotiations to buy Victoria House from Labtech, the property company of Teddy Sagi, React News reported.

The building is currently an office asset, but it has an ideal location for conversion to life sciences use. University College London is about a 10-minute walk away, medical research charity the Wellcome Trust about 15 minutes away and life sciences research facility the Francis Crick Institute is about 20 minutes by foot. 

Oxford Properties has committed to spending more than £1B on European life sciences real estate over the next five years, starting in the UK.

This summer, it bought its first asset in the sector, 310 Cambridge Science Park, for £45M. 

The area around King’s Cross is fast becoming a London life sciences hub, with occupiers in the sector starting to cluster, said a new report from MedCity, a body promoting London life sciences. 

The report said there was at least 500K SF of demand from life sciences companies looking for lab space in London that needed to be satisfied in the next two years — and, possibly, significantly more. 

“Now we have a clear picture of demand and supply, we can support companies across the life sciences sector to create the right places for growth,” MedCity Chief Executive Neelam Patel said. “These insights will strengthen our ability to shape the research community’s space in London and realise the huge opportunity that we have to grow our sector here and across the UK.”