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June 12, 2018

Fred Hutch leases steam plant

Journal Staff Reporter

Photo by Alexandria Real Estate Equities [enlarge]
The 1914 steam plant has about 106,000 square feet of offices and labs. Hutch plans to move in by fall 2019, after some upgrades.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced that it has signed a 10-year lease with Alexandria Real Estate Equities for the former Seattle City Light Steam Plant.

Current tenant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said in late 2016 that it wouldn't renew its lease for the landmarked plant, at 1201 Eastlake Ave. E. overlooking Lake Union. Bristol-Myers' lease runs through May 2019.

Fred Hutch plans some upgrades and will move in by the fall of 2019. Its broker was Eric Blohm of Savills Studley. Financial terms for the lease, which begins in June, were not announced.

Fred Hutch director Dr. Gary Gilliland said in a statement that the location near its campus makes this “an ideal addition to Fred Hutch's physical footprint and overall mission.”

“With world-class lab space already onsite, the steam plant saves us time that a full build-out would otherwise require while providing another base for the critical work our growing team of researchers, faculty and staff do every day.”

Fred Hutch has 13 buildings nearby, with about 1.5 million square feet — plus room to add another 1 million square feet. It began developing the 15-acre campus in Eastlake-South Lake Union in the late 1980s.

The 1914 steam plant has about 106,000 square feet of office/lab space on four and one-half floors. Structured parking for 160 vehicles totals about 64,000 square feet. A catwalk to the lake allows tenants to kayak to work.

The plant will accommodate about 200 Fred Hutch staff.

ZymoGenetics bought the plant in 1993 and renovated the space. It sold the property in 2002 to Alexandria, and was acquired by Bristol-Myers in 2010.

Alexandria says the plant has been seismically retrofitted and renovated since the 1990s. It currently has 82 modules of lab space.

John Cox of Alexandria said, “As the country's leading owner, operator and developer of life science and technology campuses, we are dedicated to providing Fred Hutch with a first-in-class, historic campus location and collaborative environment to foster its pioneering cancer research and improve patient lives.”

Including the steam plant, Alexandria currently has about 1 million rentable square feet in seven buildings in South Lake Union and Eastlake. They're mostly leased to life-science and biotech companies.

Alexandria is constructing a new speculative building at 1818 Fairview Ave. E., with 205,000 square feet of offices and/or lab space. Last week it paid $95 million for the 5th & Bell Building, at 2301 Fifth Ave. in Belltown, which is about half-leased to Amazon.

Bristol-Myers still has a facility in Bothell. It said in 2016 that about 80 workers in the steam plant will likely relocate to other facilities in Massachusetts and New Jersey.