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UBS And Reef Plot £400M Life Sciences Scheme

GSK's current facility in Stevenage

UBS Asset Management and Reef Estates are in pole position to team up with GSK to build a new 1.2M SF life sciences scheme in Stevenage.

The duo are the favourites to be selected by GSK for a £400M scheme on a 33-acre plot of GSK’s 92-acre campus to the north of London, React News reported.

Both UBS and Reef have already undertaken major life sciences developments in the UK, and are keen to put more money into the booming real estate subsector. British Land and Nuveen were the other parties on the shortlist to fund and build the new scheme, React said. 

GSK’s existing site already comprises 1.45M SF of lab and office space, some of which is occupied by other life sciences firms from startups to more mature companies.

The part of the campus being sold currently houses six buildings totalling 180K SF, which include the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Catapult and incubator hubs. Those buildings will be replaced by 1.2M SF of space, with GSK having the option to expand into as much as 300K SF of that. The Bioscience Catalyst Catapult will take 130K SF elsewhere on the campus, giving UBS and Reef about 900K SF to lease to other occupiers.

Reef is in the process of building a 1M SF life sciences campus near King’s Cross in London, while UBS is forward funding a £66M, 81K SF manufacturing facility for cancer therapy company Autolus, also in Stevenage.