Life Sciences Real Estate #20

✅ Darmstadt: Merck investing €300 million ✅ Wageningen: wooden lab building ✅ Erlangen: HENRI building sold €12 million ✅ Oxford: Moderna selects Sisk
Plus Ultra III in Wageningen
Plus Ultra III in Wageningen
Plus Ultra III in Wageningen
Plus Ultra III in Wageningen

Welcome subscribers,

In this edition, we examine sale and leaseback (S&LB) transactions, which are increasingly important and attractive in a tight debt market. We also bring you news on new builds, sales, and leasing activity from many parts of Europe. Read on and enjoy!

✅ Darmstadt: Merck investing €300 million

✅ Wageningen: wooden lab building

✅ Erlangen: HENRI building sold for €12 million

✅ Oxford: Moderna selects Sisk

Read more below for all the details.

The broad appeal of sale and leaseback deals in life sciences

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New and extended assets

New Merck centre in Darmstadt
New Merck centre in Darmstadt

Deutsches Herzzentrum der Charité (DHZC), the cardiac centre within the Charité university hospital, recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new building, located on the Virchow-Klinikum campus. Upon its completion in 2028, the building will be one of the largest cardiac centres in Europe, with 17 floors and 20 operating rooms. The floor space extends to 30,000 sq m (323,000 sq ft) and the total cost is €521 million (£470 million).


Merck intends to invest €300 million (£258 million) in a research centre at its headquarters in Darmstadt, and the foundation stone was laid in April 2024. The so-called Advanced Research Center will house the Life Science division, which will work on raw materials and processes for researching and manufacturing antibodies, recombinant proteins, or viral vectors.


The first 1,280 sq m (13,800 sq ft) of the approximately 4,000 sq m (43,000 sq ft) extension of The Gallery on the University of Twente campus has been completed and is ready to receive Nobian, who will move their research department from their current location in Deventer to the campus. Nobian produces salt and essential chemicals for the pharmaceutical and other sectors.


Kadans Science Partner started the development of Plus Ultra III, a building that offers around 7,600 sq m (82,000 sq ft) of space for laboratories, pilot plants and offices. The new building will be located next to Plus Ultra and Plus Ultra II. The ground floor will be fully equipped as a pilot plant. On the other floors, it is possible to rent lab space starting from 25 sq m (270 sq ft). The construction consists almost entirely of cross-laminated timber.


Real estate investment firm Delancey has submitted plans to transform a challenging brownfield site in Islington into a new 200,000 sq. ft (18,580 sq m) science and technology building with laboratory and research space. Situated in London’s Knowledge Quarter and Innovation District, the proposals for the site at 176-178 York Way include 130,000 sq. ft (12,100 sq m) of research and laboratory space. The site is challenging: there are three Network Rail tunnels and two Piccadilly Line tunnels running as close as 4.5 metres (15 feet) below the surface.


Sisk was appointed by Moderna as its preferred bidder for the fit-out of its new UK drug substance and manufacturing facility at the Moderna Innovation and Technology Centre (MITC), located on the Harwell Science Campus in Oxfordshire. The MITC extends to 145,000 sq ft (13,470 sq m).


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