Eastern Echo Editorial: This month, Canadian real estate investor, asset manager and business builder Oxford Properties Group has bought building 310 Cambridge Science Park, currently home to AstraZeneca.
The firm currently holds an expansive portfolio of its kind in North America, though it is the firms first purchase of its kind in Europe, and is the beginning of a huge investment pipeline planned for the sector. The building is specifically designed and fitted out for the firm in a very niche and specific market: life sciences.
The sector is fast growing in the UK currently, especially in the wake of the pandemic where there is perhaps more publicity and interest surrounding it than previously, with the UK, especially the areas around the OxCam Arc, being recognised as global centres for life sciences. A transaction such as this, for the time being, is relatively rare, with many firms still not taking the plunge into the new sector- though this inevitably will change, as more firms realise the potential of the more niche market.
What could also happen, is this one transaction by such a large and global firm is what it takes to trigger a knock-on effect, with one firm making the initial move, and others following suit fairly soon after.
The sector is likely to grow, both in terms of the number of spaces required by the firms within it, but also in terms of its value. For some businesses, this will be positive, those who fit-out specialist spaces are likely to see a boom in customers as more and more life science spaces are created.
On the contrary, however, this will only drive the value of the spaces up with demand as the sector grows, whereby some of the smaller firms will potentially be unable to survive, due to being crowded out.
What will happen is not for certain, though what is likely is this acquisition is the first of many more in the sector to come, as more firms begin to realise the potential of this sector.
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