As interest in the life science sector across the greater Bay Area continues unabated, some companies are looking to test the market with properties that may be able to fetch top dollar. In Berkeley, Lexington, Mass.-based Agenus has placed on the market the 25,400 square foot property it owns and occupies for $26 million, or just over $1,023 per square foot. The property, which is located at 901 Heinz Avenue is marketed by Cushman & Wakefield. One of the brokers working on marketing the property is Ryan Hattersley, and by the time this article was published, he has not returned several requests for comment on the sale of the property.
According to a flyer from the company, the property will be available in the first quarter of 2023, and it will be fully equipped. At this time, it is not certain if Agentus plans to occupy another space in the region or the reason why it is moving out of this property.
Nonetheless, the life science industry in the Bay Area, according to a recent Life Sciences on the Rise report by Cushman & Wakefield, continues to be one of the most important sectors of that industry in the country. The local market is comprised of roughly 38 million square feet of lab space, and most of it has been leased, although Cushman & Wakefield’s report saw vacancy in overall lab space in the region pass ten percent in 2020. Even with that, the rents continued to increase across the region, and the greater Emeryville/Berkeley submarket is one of the tightest across the Bay Area, according to experts.
Zeroing in closer to Berkeley, there has been quite a bit of activity in the East Bay that showcases just how bullish the developers and investors are about the industry’s prospects in this submarket. In April of this year, The Registry reported that BioMed Realty received an approval from the city of Emeryville to expand its Emeryville Center of Innovation up to 910,000 square feet. The company was already planning to break ground on the first phase of the 12-acre campus with a building of 265,000 square feet during 2022.
In one recent transaction in Emeryville, Oxford Properties Group paid $75.6 million for the 148,000 square foot Public Market Emeryville. While the per square foot pricing of this project tops $511 per square foot, only about 36,000 square feet is lab space, and the rest of the mixed uses, which include office and retail space had been identified for conversion to lab space.