World’s Largest Life Science Campus Launches

Texas Medical Center has begun construction on the $1.8 billion first phase of the 37-acre megaproject.

TMC3. Image courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects

Houston’s place in the U.S. and the world as a major life science cluster takes a big step forward as Texas Medical Center begins construction of the $1.8 billion first phase of a 37-acre, 6 million-square-foot life science campus known as TMC3.

Dubbed the world’s largest life science campus, the TMC3 master plan was designed by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, a key player in shaping several of the leading life sciences clusters in Massachusetts.

The TMC3 project expands on the more than 60 institutions and 100,000-plus employees already located at Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. William McKeon, TMC president & CEO, said in a prepared statement TMC3 extends the medical center’s collaboration to Fortune 100 life sciences companies and entrepreneurial ventures.

Phase One is backed by $1.8 billion in financing from leading life science investment and property development teams. It includes two buildings totaling 950,000 square feet—a 700,000-square-foot research facility and a 250,000-square-foot collaborative building developed by Beacon Capital Partners and their strategic partner Braidwell, a life science-focused investment firm.


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The initial phase will also feature a hotel with more than 500 keys and 65,000 square feet of conference space; a 350-unit residential tower; more than 2,000 parking spaces and 18.7 acres of public space. Helix Gardens, part of the landscape design by Mikyoung Kim, will feature a chain of five public parks and a central garden for outdoor receptions, concerts, graduations and other large-scale events.

A promising future

Alex Karnal, co-founder & chief investment officer at Braidwell, said in a prepared statement TMC3 will be a model of how to empower an ecosystem of expertise at tremendous scale. In addition to its partnership with Beacon, Braidwell is expected to bring its expertise in making multi-stage life science investments to fuel growth of companies that will be operating on the TMC3 campus.

Noting it’s an unprecedented time for life sciences and innovation in the U.S., Steve Purpura, president of life science at Beacon Capital Partners, said in prepared remarks Houston has all the factors required for explosive growth in the life sciences space. He also credited TMC with seeding innovation, building relationships with the world’s largest life sciences companies and creating the infrastructure needed for long-term success.

TMC3 is expected to generate about $5.4 billion in economic growth for the state each year, including the creation of more than 23,000 new permanent jobs and about 19,000 construction jobs.

Other TMC3 campus collaborators include Majestic Realty, Transwestern Development, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas A&M University Health Science Center and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Another Houston project

In February, Hines and 2ML Real Estate Interests released renderings of the 53-acre life science district in Houston known as Levit Green that will be adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. The mixed-use development’s first phase will include a 270,000 square-foot laboratory and office building as the centerpiece. The five-story building will include a 7,000-square-foot conference center; 5,800-square-foot fitness facility; café and restaurant space and an outdoor garden. Levit Green will eventually have more office components as well as residential, retail and hospitality space.

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