Breakthrough Properties is about to start construction of a massive life sciences scheme in Cambridge.

The developer, a joint venture between Tishman Speyer and biotechnology investment firm Bellco Capital, is to begin work on Vitrum, a five-storey, 175,000 sq ft offices and labs scheme on a 1.8-acre site at St John’s Innovation Park after securing a £104 million loan from BGO.

The building will function free of fossil fuels, with all-electrical heating and cooling systems. Passive design and reduced water consumption will mitigate flood risk and there will be basement parking and on-site electric vehicle charging stations as well as bike storage. It is designed for maximum flexibility and can incorporate wide-ranging scientific functions.

Breakthrough Properties’ senior vice president for acquisitions and development Tom Renn said: “With Vitrum by Breakthrough, we are creating a cutting-edge environment for biotechnology companies that rely on modern, flexible lab spaces to advance life-changing scientific discovery.

“We are grateful to the team at BGO for embracing our vision and meeting the moment of intense demand for premier sites in the severely supply-constrained Cambridge market.”

BGO managing director Martin Sheridan said: “BGO is thrilled to be supporting Breakthrough Properties on the development of this market-leading project backed by their established track record of developing, owning and operating life science facilities globally.

“This deal represents our first UK life science financing, and we expect to participate in more opportunities this year with our confidence in the sector remaining high.”

The building is expected to complete in 2026.

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