Bay Area Life Sciences Conversions Continue

Life sciences activity in the San Francisco Bay Area continues at a robust pace with two recent acquisitions signaling an appetite for conversions of office and mixed-use properties into life sciences uses.

Oxford Properties Group on April 22 announced its acquisition of Foundry31, a 403K SF mixed-use building in Berkeley bordering Emeryville and Oakland for $172.7M, according to a press release. With 100K SF of the property slated for conversion to life sciences, the deal is part of Oxford’s strategy to invest in life sciences properties in the U.S., including its acquisition of the Public Market Emeryville earlier this year, which will also get new lab spaces.

“Substantially growing our life sciences business represents one of our highest conviction investment strategies and top priorities at Oxford,” Oxford Properties Executive Vice President North America Chad Remis said in a statement. “The supply of high-quality life sciences space is limited, and the acquisition of Foundry31 presents us with a unique opportunity to immediately convert 100K SF to help provide the critical lab infrastructure required that allows innovative biotech firms to deliver the life-changing therapeutics of tomorrow.”

On the S.F. Peninsula, the San Mateo Bay Center at 901 and 951 Mariners Island Blvd. in San Mateo was also recently acquired for $156M by Longfellow Real Estate Partners from seller Rubicon Point Partners, according to a statement from Newmark, which completed the deal.

The 250K SF campus is surrounded by a life sciences cluster including users like Gilead and Illumina, positioning it for the intended conversion to life sciences.

“San Mateo Bay offered an ideal rollover pattern offering immediate conversion opportunities, coupled with a strong rent roll providing cash flow through conversion,” Newmark Vice Chairman Steven Golubchik said in a statement. “As the San Francisco Peninsula continues to heat up, San Mateo is poised to benefit from tenants seeking to immediately satisfy their demand for space.”