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Oxford College Agrees Joint Venture For £700M Lab Scheme

The proposed Oxford North scheme

Thomas White Oxford, the development company of St John’s College, Oxford, has agreed a 50:50 joint venture with two real estate firms to build a new £700M global life sciences innovation district.

Thomas White Oxford is partnering with Canadian real estate firm Cadillac Fairview and developer Stanhope to deliver Oxford North.

The university college’s development arm will have a 50% stake in the new company, Oxford North Ventures LLP, with Cadillac Fairview and Stanhope sharing the other half of the joint venture. Stanhope has been appointed as development manager.

The new venture will see 939K SF of laboratory and workspace built along with amenities, infrastructure and social value space during the next several years. 

Oxford City Council gave planning consent for outline plans at the 64-acre site in March last year, as well as detailed consent for the first phase of new laboratory space that totals 170K SF, a new link road and central park.

Cadillac Fairview is the real estate arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Developer Stanhope has delivered more than 30M SF of real estate, including life sciences-led schemes at White City Place and a new life sciences project near the British Library in King's Cross. 

The Oxford North scheme will also include 480 new homes, more than a third of which are designated as affordable housing. Thomas White Oxford had entered into an agreement with housebuilder Hill Group to deliver 318 of the new homes on Canalside, near the A40.

“Following two years of careful work, we have selected our JV partners," Thomas White Oxford Chairman Bernard Taylor said. "I am thrilled to have Cadillac Fairview as our partner because of its long-established record of involvement in high-quality property development and, as the property arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, it has a very long-term investment perspective whose philosophy is well aligned with that of Thomas White Oxford and our 100% shareholder, St John’s College, Oxford.

“I am also delighted to have Stanhope as our partner and development manager. It is one of the leading and highest-quality placemakers in the UK and its chief executive, David Camp, will personally lead the development team, bringing his exceptional experience in the life sciences sector and track record for delivering sustainable new exciting places on time and on budget.”