Oxford Properties Group has extended its global life sciences platform with the acquisition of 310 Cambridge Science Park, United Kingdom. Since its first investment in the sector in 2017, building a substantial and dedicated life sciences business has been one of Oxford’s highest conviction investment strategies. This €52.4m (£45m) off-market transaction from the Local Authorities’ Property Fund represents the seventh life sciences asset Oxford has acquired since the start of 2021.
310 Cambridge Science Park provides approximately 59,000ft² of fully fitted laboratory space and ancillary office accommodation, with around half fitted out as high specification wet labs. The asset is fully let to Astra Zeneca until November 2023, who are then relocating to a new headquarters. Founded in 1970, Cambridge Science Park is a 152-acre campus located at the northern edge of the City of Cambridge and provides approximately 1.9 million ft² of office, lab and R&D space to 130 occupiers spanning life sciences, pharmaceuticals, technology and engineering. Demonstrating the attractiveness and strength of the demand for the campus, it is currently 100% let. The science park benefits from strong road connections provided by the A14 and public transport including the guided busway, a light transport system that connects the campus with the city centre, Cambridge North train station and surrounding villages.
Jo McNamara, Executive Vice President, Europe and Asia-Pacific at Oxford Properties, commented: “Since our first life sciences investment in 2017 this sector has been one of Oxford’s key global conviction calls. The sector is supported by several structural tailwinds including demographic changes and the convergence of science and technology. Advances in data analytics and AI are accelerating life-changing innovations across biotech, pharmaceuticals, nutrition and medical devices. As a result, both private and governmental funding for promising products and companies has markedly increased in recent years. As this capital is deployed, occupier requirements increase, leading to the availability of little to no space in key global hubs such as the Cambridge Science Park or Kendall Square in Boston, which provide tenants with highly desirable networking and talent pooling ecosystems. As we have grown our platform in North America over the past few years, we have seen the sector evolve and mature and we are now beginning to see the same pattern emerging in Europe. We intend to use the learnings and expertise we have built up in the US to fulfil our ambition to replicate that success in Europe.”
Abby Shapiro, Senior Vice President, Head of Office, Retail & Life Sciences at Oxford Properties, added: “Cambridge Science Park is the most established life sciences campus in the UK and is the perfect location for Oxford to expand its platform into Europe. The Cambridge market demonstrates strong demand fundamentals yet suffers from a lack of good quality supply. Unit 310 is of incredibly high quality and provides a near-term opportunity to crystalise reversionary income on high-standard lab specifications and bring rents up to market levels. This ability to tap into the significant demand for laboratory space in the area will enable us to create extra value. Oxford’s initial European focus will be on the UK, where we are actively seeking opportunities in the ‘Golden Triangle' and the Greater London area. The momentum driving the life sciences sector in the UK is supported by the research and start-ups emanating from some of the world’s most prestigious medical universities, the focused funding of the UK government and increased levels of venture capital activity. Given the relatively low levels of existing supply, Oxford will look to utilise our world-class development expertise to help provide the critically needed lab infrastructure required to allow innovative biotech firms to deliver the life-saving therapeutics of tomorrow.”