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Stonebridge Plans 800K SF Of Life Sciences Development In Montgomery County

Stonebridge is making a big, new bet on the lab market in Montgomery County, its latest foray into the booming sector after having a previous attempt at a life sciences project fell through.

Stonebridge and Principal Real Estate's EvolutionLabs concept at 9713 Washingtonian Blvd.

The Bethesda-based developer is preparing two developments under the moniker "EvolutionLabs" to take advantage of the growing life sciences demand in the county, including a 550K SF development near Pike & Rose, the developer announced Thursday. 

That project, EvolutionLabs at North Bethesda, is planned to include three buildings at the intersection of Old Georgetown and Banneker roads. The first groundbreaking there would be in 2024, according to the release. Stonebridge is under contract to acquire the land for that project, Stonebridge principal Kent Marquis told Bisnow in an email. 

The property will take advantage of the "urban, walkable, transit-oriented," spaces under development near the White Flint Metro station, Marquis said.

“We feel the life sciences market in Montgomery County is looking for purpose-built labs that offer the convenience of an urban location,” Marquis said in a release.

In Gaithersburg, Stonebridge is partnering with Principal Real Estate Investors on a 250K SF, two-building life sciences campus at 9713 Washingtonian Blvd. Principal owns the land for that project, and it owns an existing office building on an adjacent site. 

The joint venture plans to break ground on the first, 150K SF building this fall and begin tenant build-out in winter 2024. The second building is scheduled to begin construction in 2024.

"Principal Real Estate Investors is excited to team up with Stonebridge to develop a purpose-built lab building in the heart of the I-270 life sciences corridor," Principal Managing Director Troy Koerselman said in a release. "Purpose built product is scarce, and we believe this will be well received given the strong demand from life sciences users."

Stonebridge has been looking to cash in on the life sciences boom in Montgomery County for years. The developer took a chance on a project near downtown Bethesda in 2018 with Donohoe Cos. before failing to get the development off the ground.

Following that project's demise, Stonebridge principal Doug Firstenberg told Bisnow in January he learned: "to be successful in life sciences, you have to build a cluster."