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Oxford closes acquisition of new N.C. life sciences facility

78 TW Alexander is a new life sciences facility in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Courtesy Oxford Properties)
78 TW Alexander is a new life sciences facility in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Courtesy Oxford Properties)

Oxford Properties Group has completed the acquisition of the final piece of a major life sciences complex in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The Toronto-based real estate investor/operator is now the owner of 78 TW Alexander, a new building located adjacent to Research Commons, a multi-building property it bought in late 2021.

It also reflects Oxford’s continuing commitment to the life sciences sector in which it has invested over $3 billion during the past three years. Oxford says in the announcement, released this morning, it also has up to $5 billion in “follow-on development opportunities” in the sector.

“GMP (good manufacturing practices) facilities are unique, highly technical assets and represent a segment of the life sciences market in which we have intentionally set out to become a market leader,” Chad Remis, executive vice-president, North America at Oxford Properties, said in the announcement.

“We continue to develop a robust expertise on the real estate needs of biomanufacturing and our footprint in this space is a key pillar of our investment strategy to build a global life sciences business of scale.”

Research Commons and the Research Triangle Park

78 TW Alexander is a 95,500-square-foot biomanufacturing facility which includes up to 190,500 square feet of expansion capability.

It was acquired from investor/developer Davidson Craven late in 2022 upon substantial completion, with construction fully completed in February.

Oxford is now actively leasing the facility.

The transaction was one element of Oxford’s acquisition of the adjacent 430,000-square-foot, five-building office and life sciences campus Research Commons.

The complex is part of Raleigh-Durham’s Research Triangle Park (RTP), and was acquired for approximately $200 million.

Oxford also owns a fully leased bio manufacturing property at the nearby 1733 TW Alexander.

Its occupants include global pharmaceutical manufacturer Grifols and Oxford also has plans to create additional research and development space.

The Research Triangle market is the fourth-largest biotech hub in North America and a leader in biologics manufacturing.

78 TW Alexander features 36-foot clear heights, seven loading docks, “robust” power and water systems, and the option to build a second floor for office or R&D uses.

The facility was designed for flexibility to accommodate users of various requirements and size.

Oxford’s Research Triangle footprint comprises over 700,000 square feet of space and expands its North American current GMP standard portfolio to 1.5 million square feet.

The portfolio includes a development pipeline of over a million square feet across six markets.

Oxford and the life sciences sector

The Raleigh-Durham cluster forms what Oxford terms “a uniquely comprehensive innovation campus in the heart of RTP.”

The facilities can accommodate life sciences firms through all stages of their development – supporting Oxford’s strategy to enable life sciences businesses across all stages of development and production. 

“The acquisition of 78 TW Alexander furthers our development of a life sciences innovation campus of significant scale, where companies can be incubated, extend research and develop life-saving therapeutics, and ultimately manufacture their work, all on the same site,” said Christie Chen, director, investments at Oxford Properties, in the announcement.

“We will continue to deploy this model in strategic markets across North America, including Raleigh-Durham which has one of the highest concentrations of life science companies in the U.S.”

Approximately 800 life sciences companies and 2,500 related service providers have a presence in RTP.

Toronto-based Oxford, the real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), has invested in the life sciences sector since 2017, deploying capital through a variety of equity and credit investments and cultivating its development pipeline. 

Its life sciences business operates across 10 North American markets and Europe  – in Cambridge, London and Paris.

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