Real estate investor, asset manager, and business builder Oxford Properties Group has purchased 310 Cambridge Science Park. This is the firms’ first investment in the life sciences sector in Europe, and their seventh life sciences asset acquired in 2021 alone.

The £45 million off-market transactions with the Local Authorities’ Property Fund come as part of the company’s extended life sciences strategy, which already consists of a £0.8 billion portfolio in North America and hopes to invest £1.2 billion in the sector in Europe over the next five years.

310 Cambridge Science Park consists of 59,000 sq. ft of fully fitted laboratory space with office accommodation, which is currently let to AstraZeneca until November 2023 who are moving to a new headquarters.

The wider park provides approximately 1.9 million sq. ft of office, lab, and R&D space to 130 occupiers across the science sector, including pharmaceuticals, life sciences, technology and engineering, with the campus currently being 100% let.

Jo McNamara, executive vice president of Europe and Asia Pacific at Oxford Properties said “Since our first life sciences investment in 2017 this sector has been one of Oxford’s key global conviction calls. The sector is supported by several structural tailwinds including demographic changes and the convergence of science and technology. Advances in data analytics and AI are accelerating life-changing innovations across biotech, pharmaceuticals, nutrition and medical devices. As a result, both private and governmental funding for promising products and companies has markedly increased in recent years. As this capital is deployed, occupier requirements increase, leading to the availability of little to no space in key global hubs such as the Cambridge Science Park or Kendall Square in Boston, which provide tenants with highly desirable networking and talent pooling ecosystems.

As we have grown our platform in North America over the past few years, we have seen the sector evolve and mature and we are now beginning to see the same pattern emerging in Europe. We intend to use the learnings and expertise we have built up in the US to fulfil our ambition to replicate that success in Europe.”

Abby Shapiro, senior vice president, head of office, retail & life sciences at Oxford Properties said “Cambridge Science Park is the most established life sciences campus in the UK and is the perfect location for Oxford to expand its platform into Europe. The Cambridge market demonstrates strong demand fundamentals yet suffers from a lack of good quality supply. Unit 310 is of incredibly high quality and provides a near-term opportunity to crystalise reversionary income on high-standard lab specifications and bring rents up to market levels. This ability to tap into the significant demand for laboratory space in the area will enable us to create extra value.

Oxford’s initial European focus will be on the UK, where we are actively seeking opportunities in the ‘Golden Triangle’ and the Greater London area. The momentum driving the life sciences sector in the UK is supported by the research and start-ups emanating from some of the world’s most prestigious medical universities, the focused funding of the UK government, and increased levels of venture capital activity. Given the relatively low levels of existing supply, Oxford will look to utilise our world-class development expertise to help provide the critically needed lab infrastructure required to allow innovative biotech firms to deliver the life-saving therapeutics of tomorrow.”

Oxford Properties was advised by Creative Places, and CCLA was advised by Cluttons.

Image source- Oxford Properties

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