Breakthrough Properties has announced it will transform the 2300 Market St. block site in Philadelphia’s Center City into a new life science campus. The company, a joint venture created by Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital, will add 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art life science space to the market with the new project.
2300 Market will sprout up in place of what had been destined to become a mixed-use multifamily development at the hands of the previous owner, Lubert-Adler. Now, the transit-oriented site adjacent to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University will become home to Los Angeles-based Breakthrough’s first development in Philadelphia.
“We believe that research and development inventory has not kept up with the world-class science and demand for space in Philadelphia,” Aaron Kazam, senior vice president with Breakthrough Properties, told Commercial Property Executive. “It was therefore important for us to find a site that would deliver both a best-in-market location as well as meet the needs of innovators. We found that unique opportunity in 2300 Market.”
The life science real estate development company was represented by D2 Capital Advisors as consultant during the site selection process. D2 is acting as financing advisor for the project as well.
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Breakthrough has tapped architecture firm KieranTimberlake to design 2300 Market, which is set to be a mid-rise tower of mixed materials, including brick and glass, and a blended combination of architectural styles. The modern lab facility will feature amenities including a wraparound terrace midway up the building.
The developer has underscored that sustainability will be a key component of 2300 Market and is aiming for the campus to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Philly’s life science forte
The timing of Breakthrough’s 2300 Market project appears to be right on the mark.
“We are on the verge of an explosion in our city, of life science, and its cell and gene therapy—what we’re known throughout the world as being at the very top,” Philadelphia Councilmember Allan Domb said during a City Council meeting May 5.
Domb wasn’t overstating the facts. The City of Brotherly Love has carved out a niche in the life science sector. As noted in a first quarter 2022 report by Colliers, “The Philadelphia life science market continues to expand and mature because of both growing organic demand in the region and a strengthening recognition outside of the region that ‘Cellicon Valley’ is an epicenter for developing gene and cell therapies.”
Now, Philadelphia’s life science real estate market has to catch up to its burgeoning reputation. For the last few years, the availability of purpose-built lab and incubation space in the metro area has been severely constrained, but that has only just begun to change, according to the Colliers report, with developments like the planned 3 million-square-foot hub at the Navy Yard.
Breakthrough has tapped Cushman & Wakefield to oversee marketing of 2300 Market as leasing agent for the project.