Life Sciences Real Estate #13

✅ Ireland's role in transatlantic portfolio ✅ Spotlight on Warsaw ✅ New shared lab in Barcelona ✅ Dusseldorf dazzles
Life Sciences Real Estate #13
Barcelona photo by Vitor Monteiro / Unsplash
Life Sciences Real Estate #13
Barcelona photo by Vitor Monteiro / Unsplash

Good morning subscribers,

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of your biweekly market update. The coverage is as wide-ranging as ever, spanning cities as far apart as Vilnius and Madrid, Aberdeen and Warsaw, plus an interview with a Canadian investor who explains the role of Irish assets in his transatlantic portfolio. We hope you enjoy it.

Ireland: role in transatlantic portfolio
Warsaw: clinical trials and more
Barcelona: new shared lab opens
Germany: Dusseldorf dazzles

Read more below for all the details

Have you seen our interactive map of the UK's Golden Triangle? Try it now!

Canadian investor

How Ireland adds value to a transatlantic portfolio

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A close look at the Polish capital

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New and extended assets

GSK's plant at Wavre in Belgium
GSK's plant at Wavre in Belgium


Due to increasing demand for its shingles vaccine and other vaccines, GSK plans to invest €250 million (£213 million) to bolster its manufacturing operations at its site in Wavre, located 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Brussels. Inaugurated in 1993, the site measures 23 square kilometres (9 square miles), or about the size of 70 soccer fields. Most of GSK’s vaccines are made here and then shipped worldwide.


In 2024 Bayer will open a Co.Lab site at the company’s global pharmaceuticals divisional headquarters in northern Berlin. This site will have a particular focus on cell and gene therapies and modality platforms. Bayer Co.Lab is a life science incubator network designed to enhance Bayer’s research and development efforts. Simultaneously, it provides biotech start-ups access to both physical facilities and support, ensuring an environment conducive to growth.


The new building for the Food and Veterinary Institute Braunschweig/Hannover on Dresdenstrasse in Braunschweig is a few weeks ahead of schedule. In total 7,600 sq m (622,000 sq ft) of office and laboratory space will be created. 85 employees are expected to move into the five floors in autumn 2025. The awarding authority is the local state office.


Peker Holding is investing up to €180 million (£153 million) in a life science centre named Nordstern. The project is expected to be completed in two and a half years, once the building application has been approved. Situated between the Nordliches Zubringer and Vogelsanger Weg, the location is close to the airport and close to another Peker development called Northgate. It is important to note that this development is distinct from Dusseldorf's DITEC Life Science Centre which offers 21,000 sq m (226,000 sq ft) of space for research and innovation. The DITEC Centre is located on the southern side of the city.


Freiburg-based developer Hans-Peter Unmüssig plans to refurbish the former Postbank building in Ludwigshafen and add a new building. Almost 23,000 sq m (248,000 sq ft) of rental space will be available in the Technologiemeile commercial area if all components of the project are implemented. In 2017, the Unmüssig group bought the Postbankhaus, Ernst-Boehe-Straße 15, southwest of the city centre, which dates to 1974. The eight-storey existing building with 16,391 sq m (176,000 sq ft) of office space, almost 4,000 of which is also suitable for laboratories or light production, and 3,150 sq m (34,000 sq ft) of storage space are to be renovated from February or March 2024. Rental areas could be ready for occupancy in 2025. The neighbouring University of Economics and Society currently uses parts of the building.


Göttingen's new location for life science, tech, and business services is starting to take shape with the construction of a new competence center for the amedes Group, the second-largest provider of laboratory services in Germany. In the first development stage of the life science campus, a “flagship” laboratory including a logistics centre and administration for a laboratory service provider operating across Europe is being built on a 19,400 sq m (209,000 sq ft) plot of land in the Siekhöhe business park. Completion is expected in Q1 2024. The building was designed by the Schneider and Schumacher architectural firm from Frankfurt am Main.


Kadans is planning to develop a research property in Mainz for around €50 million (£42.5 million). It is intended to be part of the biotech campus, which has been developed since 2022, next to the main campus of Johannes Gutenberg University. 19,500 sq m (210,000 sq ft) of gross floor space are planned, about 50 per cent of which will be used as laboratories. A significant tenant will be the Technology Center Mainz (TZM), a company owned by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the city of Mainz that promotes business start-ups in the biotech and medical sectors. The building is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2027. Kadans is taking over the approximately 11,500 sq m (124,000 sq ft) property from the city of Mainz via leasehold.


In December 2023, BCD completed the €10 million (£8.5 million) expansion of its base in Charleville in Cork. BCD is a process engineering company working with pharmaceutical, biotech, food and beverage, and chemical customers all over the world since 1983. During this time, it has become one of the largest employers in the Charleville area and has secured contracts with multinationals including Pfizer, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca. BCD’s expansion comes after Italian-headquartered company Masco Group bought it four years ago and it now employs 240 full-time staff and works with a further 100 contractors.


As it continues to try to meet high demand for its weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, Novo Nordisk has filed an application to build a large manufacturing complex in Dublin that would cover 1.6 million sq ft (149,000 sq m) and employ up to 1,100. Located in the Grange Castle business park just west of the city, the complex includes three filling and packaging units, two assembly and packaging facilities, a warehouse, an administration building and a laboratory, according to market reports. In June 2023 Novo purchased the 85-acre (29 ha) tract of land for €51 million (£43 million) to construct a plant to manufacture products to treat “diabetes, obesity and rare diseases,” according to the South Dublin County Council. The agreement included an option to buy an additional 21 acres (8.5 ha) of adjacent property. Before these moves, the company never had a manufacturing presence in Ireland.


January 2024 saw the first topping-out ceremony at the BIO CITY complex, a project developed by the Northway Healthcare Group. The building in question is the Gene Therapy Center, which will conduct cutting-edge gene therapy research and cGMP manufacturing, with an investment of €50 million (£42.5 million), creating over 100 high-value jobs. By 2030, BIO CITY has plans to unveil five additional complexes, featuring facilities for large-scale microbial production, stem cell research and 3D bioprinting, among others.


In Q4 2023, Molex announced a major expansion of its global manufacturing footprint with the opening of a new campus in Katowice, Poland. The facility’s initial 23,000 sq m (247,570 sq ft ) manufacturing space will serve as a strategic central location to help facilitate timely delivery of advanced medical devices for Phillips-Medisize, a Molex company, as well as electric vehicle and electrification solutions for Molex customers. Future expansion space of up to 85,000 sq m (914,932 sq ft) is built into Molex’s growth plans for the facility, adding to existing sites in Rokitki and Sulęcin.


Cosymbio was officially launched in Barcelona. Describing itself as the first biotech laboratory hub in Barcelona to offer collaborative spaces, laboratories and shared resources, Cosymbio is located at Roc Boronat, 31 in the Poblenou district. The founders are a group of scientists and entrepreneurs in the biotech and start-up sectors trying to address one big issue: the lack of laboratory spaces available to small startups. The few that exist are described as expensive, unsuited to the needs of start-up companies and in peripheral locations.


BioMed Realty’s latest application to deliver 550,000 sq ft (51,100 sq m) of lab space at Cambridge International Technology Park has been approved. The Company’s amendments to its original application focused on enhancing the appearance of the buildings, improving the surrounding landscape, and providing vital amenities on site such as a cafe/restaurant and gym.


Phase 2 of Unity Campus has been completed, with 80 per cent of the space let or under offer. The new phase includes three new laboratory-enabled buildings – A1 (32,603 sq ft / 3,029 sq m), A2 (24,467 sq ft / 2,273 sq m) and B (31,000 sq ft / 2,880 sq m). Domainex, a leading integrated medicines research services partner, has taken a lease on Building A2.


Sci-Tech Daresbury has received planning approval for Violet Phase Two, a c.£24 million (€27.8 million) speculative development. The project is set to deliver a further c.80,000 sq ft (7,433 sq m) of prime real estate to the national science and innovation campus and comprises two new three-storey buildings, known as V4 and V5 following on from the successful delivery of Violet Phase One.


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