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CalSTRS Invests $500M Into Life Sciences Development Fund

A rendering of the New York Blood Center, a planned life sciences building in Manhattan from developer Longfellow Real Estate Partners.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System, one of the nation's largest municipal pension funds, is plowing a half-billion dollars into life sciences real estate.

The $500M investment is going to a fund managed by Boston-based Longfellow Real Estate Partners, one of the most active lab developers in the country. It is the first partnership between the two companies and another example of institutional investment seeking out life sciences opportunities.

The money, which comes out of the opportunistic sector of the fund’s $7.2B real estate portfolio, isn’t the first such investment by CalSTRS. Since 2015, when it invested in Cambridge Crossing in Massachusetts, the fund has invested in medical centers and life sciences campuses across the nation, including at Georgia Tech, the University of Chicago and Texas Medical Center.

Longfellow is working on an array of projects, including a large campus in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa neighborhood, which it paid $315M for last year, and the $750M New York Blood Center in Manhattan, which faced an array of pushback before being approved last year.