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October 08, 2015

Major South Lake Union biotech landlord to be acquired for $8B

Puget Sound Business Journal

Annie Zak

There are more changes ahead for the building that houses Seattle biotech Juno Therapeutics (Nasdaq: JUNO) and the Center for Infectious Disease Research.

San Diego-based life science real estate company BioMed Realty Trust (NYSE: BMR) will be acquired by Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX) in an $8 billion cash deal, according to a press release. That comes out to $23.75 per share, 10 percent more than the closing price of BioMed's shares on Wednesday.

New York-based Blackstone is the world's largest private equity firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In recent years, BioMed has increased its presence in the Puget Sound region and owns a significant amount of biotech real estate space here. The companybought the Juno building at 307 Westlake Ave. N. in February for $89.7 million, which at that time set a Seattle price record. It is also constructing a new building at 500 Fairview Ave. Both of those are in South Lake Union.

In Seattle, space that includes both office and labs is hard to come by. Because of that, more biotechs are looking to the suburbs to find places to rent.

Aside from 307 Westlake, BioMed owns several buildings in South Lake Union and also in Bothell. Among those are the BioMed Realty Research Center at 500 Fairview Ave. and 530 Fairview Ave. - home to Seattle biotech company NanoString and also Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk's R&D center - 201 Elliott Ave. W. - home to Seattle biotech Omeros - 1522 217th Place S.E. in Bothell - which Juno recently leased for manufacturing - and 3450 Monte Villa Parkway in Bothell, where New York pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb has an office.

Bill Neil, a commercial real estate broker for Kidder Mathews in Seattle, said in March that the city's vacancy rate for unoccupied lab space or existing lab-ready space is "virtually zero."

Seattle is one of BioMed's seven core life science markets, along with Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Maryland, New York/New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

For the full story, go to Puget Sound Business Journal.

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