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EXCLUSIVE: Oxford Properties Grabs 4 Sites In Bay Area, Boston Biotech Play

Oxford Properties Group is perpetuating the Bay Area and Boston-area life sciences boom with a move worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars, and it plans to use another half-billion on further capital investments.

The Toronto-based investment company and developer paid $276M for four life sciences assets and plots of land suitable for development in the thriving life sciences sector, according to a press release.

The deal comprises a mixed-use property in the East Bay city of Emeryville that also includes two land parcels earmarked for life sciences development, as well as three properties around Boston. Oxford expects to bolster the bundle by making additional capital investments amounting to $500M.

A rendering of proposed lab space and an outdoor amenity at 5959 Shellmound St. in Emeryville

The Public Market Emeryville at 5959 Shellmound St. is a 148K SF retail center with restaurants, offices, shopping and 36K SF of existing ground-floor, first-generation lab space. The property is primed for a build-out of more life sciences space given the strong performance of that asset class in the Bay Area.

In addition to the existing labs, the Shellmound Street project involves about 60K SF of conversions to life sciences uses and the two parcels of developable land.

Newmark Vice Chairmen Steven Golubchik and Nicholas Bicardo represented sellers Angelo Gordon and City Center Realty Partners.

“City Center looks forward to our collaboration with Oxford on this project and continuing our successful transformation of Public Market Emeryville from a suburban-style collection of buildings and surface parking lots into a premium mixed-use life science campus in the East Bay," CCRP President and co-founder Mark Stefan said in the release.

Oxford's other three acquisitions are existing life sciences assets in the Boston area. One is a 114K SF biomanufacturing facility at 33 New York Ave. in Framingham, Massachusetts, leased to Replimune Group Inc. and CRISPR Therapeutics. The other two total 153K SF across two buildings at 1 and 5 Mountain Road in Framingham, leased to Sanofi. Together, the Emeryville and Boston-area assets total 415K SF, with another estimated 450K SF of new lab space that could be built across the properties. 

“Growing a meaningfully sized life sciences business represents one of our highest conviction investment strategies and top priorities across our business,” Oxford Properties Executive Vice President, North America Chad Remis said in the press release. “These transactions grow our presence in two key global life sciences markets and complement our existing portfolio of assets and significant development pipeline in the sector. It gives us a solid foundation to continue to grow from as we seek to scale this part of Oxford’s business in 2021.”

A rise in the rates of many diseases coupled with accelerating technological advancements are two factors associated with the proliferation of the life sciences sector, including a December deal in which Beacon Capital Partners bought over 225K SF at 6401 Hollis St. and 1480 64th St. in Emeryville with plans to redevelop them for biotech uses.

Beyond Oxford's most recent acquisitions, the company announced plans to continue its investment in the asset class in the Bay Area, Boston, San Diego and potentially Europe.