Oxford Properties Group has acquired Ionis Pharmaceuticals’ campus, a three-building, 250,000-square-foot life science and office property in Carlsbad, Calif., in a sale-leaseback transaction.
Public records show Oxford paid $258.4 million for the asset, financing the purchase with a $158 million loan from Credit Agricole. Ionis will continue to occupy the campus for the next 15 years.
The Ionis campus purchase brought Oxford’s San Diego life science portfolio to 900,000 square feet, following a recent $464 million acquisition of a 13-building, 650,000-square-foot portfolio in the metro’s Sorrento Mesa and Sorrento Valley. The firm’s local footprint is expected to reach more than 1.2 million square feet upon the completion of its development pipeline.
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Since the beginning of 2021, Oxford has invested more than $3 billion in global life science assets, one of the acquisitions involving a 402,700-square-foot facility in the Bay Area that will be converted to comprise more research and development space. The firm also formed a $1.5 billion strategic venture with Ensemble/Mosaic this March for the development of a 3 million-square-foot life science campus in Philadelphia.
A North County life science property
Situated on 18.4 acres at 2850, 2855 and 2859 Gazelle Court, the campus came online between 2011 and 2021, featuring a mix of chemistry and biology laboratories, R&D support systems and office space. According to CommercialEdge data, Ionis had acquired it in 2017 for $79.4 million from BioMed Realty.
The property is within San Diego’s North County cluster of life science facilities, close to numerous other pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Downtown San Diego is some 36 miles south.
San Diego’s life science success
San Diego remains the top market in the West and the second largest in the nation for life science construction and investment activity, due to its geographic location, as well as its large and concentrated number of research universities and hospitals. According to a CommercialEdge report, the metro had 2.9 million square feet in its life science pipeline as of August, while the average listing rate has increased by 11.8 percent in the last 12 months.
Speaking about the benefits of the purchase in the context of its specific market, Tycho Suter, vice president of investments at Oxford, said in prepared remarks that the firm is very confident in the San Diego life sciences market, which is supported by its strong STEM presence and a highly-skilled labor force as well as world-renowned research and academic institutions.