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National Life Science Developer Adds Former John Buck Exec For West Coast Expansion

Life science developer Longfellow Real Estate Partners has brought on Evan Schwimmer as managing director of the company’s Bay Area offices, it said Wednesday.

New Longfellow Real Estate Partners Managing Director Evan Schwimmer along with CBRE Sales Department's Charles Hendrickson and Senior Vice President Michael Griffiths at a Bisnow event in 2018.

A veteran Bay Area real estate executive, Schwimmer will direct Bay Area operations and growth, including acquisitions and leasing, for the expanding company. His new post follows three years as senior vice president of The John Buck Co., the Chicago-based developer of Park Tower in San Francisco, which is being leased by Facebook.

“Longfellow is a well-capitalized institution with a startup feel, while having all the trappings of an institution that companies 10 times its size have,” Schwimmer told Bisnow. “That, for me, was a really exciting place to come into.”

Longfellow has been active in the life sciences hubs of both Boston and North Carolina’s Research Triangle, having closed in August on a 1.34M SF, $405M portfolio in the latter, for example. But in the last year or so the developer has been building an expansive West Coast portfolio. 

Since last February, it has amassed a 1.3M SF Bay Area portfolio, highlighted by its $205M acquisition of Palo Alto Technology Center in July and an earlier 49% acquisition of Redwood City’s 997K SF Bayshore Technology Park for about $663 per SF. Longfellow is in the midst of redeveloping both properties in conversions from office to lab space.

For this year and beyond, the developer has over $1B in capital commitments it will invest in select life sciences markets across the country, it said.

“We’ve got several acquisitions planned on the West Coast,” Longfellow Real Estate Partners Managing Partner Adam Sichol said. “There’s disruption in the system now with the COVID-19 situation, so we’re all trying to figure out what that means for pricing of real estate. But we’re ready to continue to be opportunistic as we continue to grow our portfolio."

Longfellow’s West Coast push has also meant investment in San Diego, where it owns the 435K SF SOVA Science District campus, which it plans to turn into lab space.