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  • Writer's pictureVannesa Vasquez

In the News: Revolutionizing Healthcare: Berkeley's New Cell Therapy Hub, South San Francisco's Lab Expansion, and the Booming Future of Life Sciences

The 1.3 million square foot addition at South San Francisco Lab Development is approved by Healthpeak Properties.

Healthpeak Properties, Inc. has made a significant stride in expanding the biotech landscape of South San Francisco with the approval of entitlements for Phases II and III of its Vantage lab development campus. This approval allows Healthpeak to add an impressive 1.3 million square feet of lab space to the campus, doubling the density previously allowed and bringing the total to about 1.7 million square feet. Strategically situated near Genentech’s headquarters, the 20-acre campus is not just a space for discovery and delivery but a beacon of innovation, offering state-of-the-art amenities and direct access to key transportation routes. The Vantage campus is a testament to Healthpeak's vision of fostering collaboration and innovation in the biotech industry, reflecting a strong partnership with the City of South San Francisco and marking a future rich with biotech advancements. With Phase I already underway and partially leased to Astellas Pharma, Healthpeak’s Vantage campus is poised to further cement South San Francisco's status as a hub for biotech innovation.

The JLL report indicates that the life sciences industry is expected to grow in the upcoming quarters.

The life sciences sector in the U.S., especially in major markets like Los Angeles/Orange County, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Diego, has seen significant growth over recent years, a trend expected to continue according to a JLL report. Despite a recent slowdown in lab space demand, the sector is anticipated to rebound, supported by robust venture capital (VC) funding, which has surged post-COVID-19 to levels beyond pre-pandemic figures. The report highlights a substantial supply influx, particularly in Boston and the Bay Area, and a record-high job demand in life sciences, suggesting a future increase in lab space demand. Opportunities are shifting towards tenants in an evolving market, offering them a chance to align real estate strategies closely with their business needs, thanks to a loosening market. The current supply wave, notably large in the Bay Area and Boston, contrasts with challenges in markets like Los Angeles and Orange County, where infrastructure limitations hinder life sciences space development. Despite these challenges, the importance of proximity to talent and labor pools remains a key driver for the sector's growth, with a continued focus on integrating this talent into the industry to maintain its robustness and competitiveness.

Fluor reports that Berkeley's 100,000 SQFT Global Cell Therapy Launch Facility has been completed for Bayer.

Fluor Corporation has successfully finished building Bayer's inaugural global Cell Therapy Launch Facility in Berkeley, California, with the completion celebrated on October 10, 2023. This marks a significant advancement in biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing, focusing on cell therapies targeting neurological degenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease, and other critical medical needs. Fluor's approach to the project, emphasizing innovative plant layout and modularized construction, enabled efficient and safe completion while allowing the project to be phased to align with production timelines. The company's responsibilities encompassed engineering, procurement, construction management, commissioning, qualification, and validation of the facility. This project builds on Fluor's previous success in constructing Bayer’s Cell Culture Technology Center in 2021, further supporting Bayer's efforts in biologic therapy production.

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