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Taconic Launches New Life Sciences Arm, Plans To Invest Outside NYC

A rendering of 125 West End Ave., a future Taconic life sciences project in New York City.

New York City developer Taconic Partners is doubling down on lab space development and investment with the launch of a separate arm of the business that will operate its current life sciences portfolio and look for new opportunities.

Named Elevate Research Properties, the subsidiary will oversee three life sciences developments Taconic is already building in New York, the company announced Tuesday. Elevate will have approximately $2B of investment in life sciences real estate totaling 1.4M SF according to a release.

“We are excited to launch this new platform, which will allow us to consolidate all of our life sciences investment activities to be able to more effectively and more directly communicate to the life science tenant market,” said Matthew Weir, an executive vice president at Taconic Partners who was named president of Elevate. “Taconic has been committed to this sector for many years and today’s announcement raises the bar on that commitment.”

Taconic is developing the 322K SF Hudson Research Center at 619 West 54th St. with Silverstein Properties. Its 400K SF development with Nuveen at 125 West End Ave., secured $600M in financing to launch speculative construction last year.

New York City has just under 2M SF in lab inventory leased, per CBRE, along with almost 1M SF in the pipeline. Demand for space grew by 67% last year, and a record 433K SF of life sciences leases were signed during that period, according to the brokerage. The market is still much smaller than its competition in Boston, however, and many in the industry have said a lack of graduation space for life sciences startups is a major problem for the city.

Meanwhile, biotech stocks have taken a serious hit in recent months after a record number of those types of companies went public last year. Weir told The Wall Street Journal those disruptions are simply a symptom of the “resetting” of fundamentals.

“The aging population, the emergence of personalized medicine, technologies like mRNA — there’s just such a large amount of momentum in the market that those themes, macro level, will continue,” he said.