A £200 million redevelopment of Oxford’s Clarendon Shopping Centre will include 30,000 sq ft of labs and offices under plans revealed by its owner.
Lothbury Property Trust has teamed up with Oxford Science Enterprises, investment partner of the University of Oxford, in a joint venture for a wholesale development of the city centre site which will include space for student accommodation, offices, retail outlets and restaurants in a scheme totalling 250,000 sq ft.
Subject to planning, work could start this year with completion in 2024. Fast-growing life science companies, including those founded by Oxford Science Enterprises are expected to use the new space.
Demand for lab space in Oxford is around 10 times greater than supply. With more than 100 companies in its portfolio, Oxford Science Enterprises has an ever-increasing requirement.
Chief executive Alexis Dormandy said: “There is an acute shortage of laboratory and office space that meets the specific requirements of early-stage life science companies in Oxford.
“This new venture with Lothbury supports our strategy to be a comprehensive science business builder, not only providing investment backed by strategic and operational expertise, but also essential R&D space to nurture our companies’ growth in the early stages of development.
“We believe that the city centre location will prove attractive to new companies and allow fledgling biotechs access to state-of-the-art facilities while remaining close to the university, its entrepreneurs and academics. This is an exciting evolution of the space and city centre, bringing new life and opportunities to the high street and local businesses.”
Lothbury Property Trust is the flagship fund for Lothbury Investment Management (LIM).
LIM chief executive Simon Radford said: “This is a milestone investment for Lothbury, which has owned the Clarendon Centre since its inception in 1985 and brings Lothbury’s investors into the new and exciting life science and biomedical sectors for real estate.
“The joint venture with Oxford Science Enterprises is the first letting within a comprehensive redevelopment project, which is planned to be implemented on a phased basis. The proposed development will comprise four highly-sustainable buildings, bringing office, lab and student accommodation into the heart of Oxford city centre.”
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