Some of the world’s biggest property investors are planning to spend billions of dollars on labs and offices for the booming life sciences sector.
Tishman Speyer and biotechnology investment firm Bellco Capital have raised $3bn (£2.4bn) to develop and buy buildings for life sciences, ranging from highly specialised laboratories to more traditional offices located close to research hubs.
The companies estimate they could spend as much as $5bn-$6bn via their joint venture, called Breakthrough Properties. After the US, their main target will be property in the UK.
Rob Speyer, chief executive of Tishman Speyer and co-chair of Breakthrough, said: “We couldn’t be more excited about the future of the UK today. There is capital coming in to support science, government support and expertise… We’re just following the science.”
The plans have been hailed as a vote of confidence in the government’s ambition to make the UK a “science superpower”, despite its lukewarm treatment of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.
Separately, Canadian investor Brookfield Asset Management has launched a UK-focused life sciences property platform.
The vehicle – Advanced Research Clusters, or Arc – brings together Brookfield’s existing UK assets, including the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus south of Oxford, which cover more than 1.6m sq ft of lab and office space.
Brookfield plans to invest £1.5bn-£2bn in developing more lab and office space over the next five to 10 years to more than quadruple that footprint, with the bulk of the expansion earmarked for Harwell, which is co-owned by the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
On Friday, Oxford Properties and London-based developer Reef Group were selected as partners by Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation to build a £350m life sciences hub close to London Bridge station.