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April 14, 2021
Even before it sold last week, for a little over $119 million, the brand-new Boren Lofts was headed the life science route. Seller Trammell Crow said as much in February, and new owner Oxford Properties Group has now confirmed that plan.
The 10-story building at 1930 Boren at 1930 Boren Ave. began life as an office project, designed by LMN Architects and built by Howard S. Wright (a Balfour Beatty company). Trammel Crow filed plans this spring for “modifications to the core and shell to allow for lab spaces for potential life science tenants.”
Oxford, of Toronto, followed that with a press release on Monday. Its Chad Remis said, “The acquisition of Boren Lofts is a rare opportunity to create more than 136,000 square feet of institutional, necessary lab space for innovators, creators, scientists and more. We look forward to continuing our growth in Seattle and welcoming new customers to our innovative high-end facility in the near future.”
LMN's revised plans support that with some new building systems that add louvers, vents, rooftop mechanical units and related screening.
Oxford said that our South Lake Union/Denny Triangle life science submarket has over 5.6 million square feet, with a Class A vacancy rate of 0.6%. It also cited the pandemic as driving demand for lab space.
CBRE's Scotta Ashcraft and Nick Carkonen were brokering the for Trammell Crow, and Oxford didn't signal any change of representation.
Oxford is investing even more in the in life science sector. It said that this year, it has made four other life science investments that, with Boren Lofts, will represent about $1 billion in value. Oxford invests on behalf of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System pension plan, or OMERS.
In that sector, the investor said it was also looking at the Bay Area, Seattle, San Diego and Boston. It recently acquired three life science properties in Boston and, in the East Bay, Emeryville Public Market. That 148,000-square-foot retail complex traded for $276 million, and will be converted to life science use. The popular food hall will, however, remain.
Brian Miller can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.