Longfellow Lands $178M Loan for Office-to-Lab Conversion

Mesa West Capital provided the financing for the purchase and repositioning of a two-building campus in San Mateo, Calif.

San Mateo Bay Center
San Mateo Bay Center. Image courtesy of Mesa West Capital

Longfellow Real Estate Partners has received a $178 million first-mortgage loan from Mesa West Capital to recapitalize costs associated with the acquisition and repositioning of the San Mateo Bay Center in San Mateo, Calif.

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Longfellow acquired the 235,911-square-foot office campus in April for $156 million from Rubicon Point Partners.

Developed in 1984, the property has two seven-story office towers located at 901 and 951 Mariner’s Island Blvd. Amenities include showers, a fitness center, a café and outdoor patio space.

A portion of the proceeds of the five-year, floating-rate loan will be used by Longfellow to convert the property from a conventional office asset to a life science and laboratory facility. San Mateo Bay Center is located in the mid-peninsula Foster City/San Mateo life science market with an inventory of nearly 2 million square feet of life science space. The market is anchored by the 1.4 million-square-foot world headquarters of Gilead Sciences.

Adam Sichol, CEO of Longfellow, said in a prepared statement the loan from Mesa West Capital will enable the firm to transform the San Mateo Bay Center into a premier life science campus to better serve the region’s leading bio innovation companies.

Longfellow, founded in 2009 and based in Boston, has become one of the leading owners and operators of life science facilities. The firm has a portfolio of about 6 million square feet in the nation’s top technology and life science clusters including Boston, San Francisco, San Diego and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Company expertise

Longfellow has done other office-to-biotech conversions. In October, the firm purchased The Foundry, a 280,365-square-foot office campus in San Diego from Shorenstein Properties, with plans to immediately being transforming it into a lab project. A month later, Longfellow secured a $52.8 million loan to acquire and reposition Perimeter’s Edge, a 341,547-square-foot flex/office portfolio in Morrisville, N.C., into a life science asset.

Mesa West Capital Director Josh Westerberg cited Longfellow’s experience as a premier developer and operator in the life sciences sector and said the company’s expertise is critical to the success of projects like the San Mateo Bay Center.

Westerberg and Principal Ronnie Gul led Mesa West’s origination team. Ramsey Daya of Newmark arranged the financing. Mark Osher with Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP represented Mesa West Capital in the transaction.

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