Alexandria Plans 200K SF Lab Building To Kick Off Huge Rockville Project
An affiliate of life sciences giant Alexandria Real Estate Equities filed plans for a 200K SF research and development building as part of an 18-acre project on Darnestown Road. The Montgomery County Planning Board is scheduled to hear the plans on July 29.
The affiliate, ARE-Maryland No. 49 LLC, acquired the property in November 2019 for $25M, property records show.
The property sits directly to the north of GlaxoSmithKline's global vaccine research and development center. That 635K SF complex, sitting on a 28-acre property, was acquired by GI Partners in 2017 for $338M.
ARE's 18-acre property is envisioned for three lab buildings totaling 530K SF, plus two parking garages. The first phase, Building A, sits on the northwest corner of the site along Darnestown Road.
The developer is proposing a five-story building reaching up to 100 feet tall, with ceiling heights larger than conventional office to accommodate research and development tenants.
Montgomery County's life sciences market has benefited from increased demand throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with billions of dollars flowing to life sciences companies developing vaccines in the county. This strong demand has brought the market's vacancy rate down to 3%, according to JLL, and experts have said more spec development is needed to accommodate tenants looking for quick move-ins.
ARE, which declined to comment, hasn't said whether it has signed a tenant for the new Darnestown Road project or if it plans to break ground on spec. The life sciences REIT owns more than 33M SF of U.S. properties, including 3M SF in Maryland as of March 31. The company is the dominant player in the nation's premier life sciences market in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it reached an $815M deal to acquire two buildings last month.