Black Mountain Properties’ 888 Bransten Project in San Carlos Sells for $55MM

Black Mountain Properties, 888 Bransten, San Carlos, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Alexandria center for Life Sciences, Meridian 25
Courtesy of City of San Carlos

By Meghan Hall

Over the past year-and-a-half, Black Mountain Properties has been working to solidify plans for 888 Bransten, a Class A life sciences development in the growing hub of San Carlos. However, a recent SEC filing has shown that the project site now has a new owner: Alexandria Real Estate Equities. During the third quarter, the life sciences giant paid $55 million for the property.

Black Mountain Properties first pitched the project in 2020 and intended to construct 210,832 square feet at the site. The Class A life science and research development building would total six floors and also include a 2,500 square foot amenity building. Part of the amenity building will be leased to a coffee vendor or food service operator as a casual dining option for a future tenant’s employees, according to The Registry’s previous reporting. Two levels of underground parking are also allocated in the project plans.

According to the City of San Carlos’ website, the project is still listed as active and “In Review.” It is unclear whether or not Alexandria will continue with these plans or form its own. However, what is apparent is that the deal occurred amidst a flurry of activity from Alexandria, who is already deeply involved in the market. 

Recently, the firm has been moving forward on development of the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences, a 24.34-acre project along Industrial Road, Commercial Street and Old County Road. The campus is expected to include more than 1.625 million square feet of building space. The company is also working to develop another project dubbed Meridian 25 at 887 Industrial Road. The project is expected to total 530,000 square feet.

Beyond San Carlos, Alexandria has closed on a number of other significant deals. At the beginning of November, the company acquired a site in Millbrae for $21 million. Located at 201 and 301 Adrian Road, Alexandria intends to construct 578,000 square feet. Around the same time, Alexandria spent $105.25 million to acquire a former JC Penney retail location in San Bruno, which it intends to transform into 700,000 square feet of commercial space for one of its current or future tenants.

The firm is expected to close on another significant deal in the future. The Registry reported that during the first quarter, the life science and technology development and investment firm is spending $446 million, or $1,527 per square foot, to acquire 3301-3307 Hillview Avenue in Palo Alto’s Stanford Research Park. The deal will add to its growing footprint within the hub; in October, Alexandria paid $203.8 million, or about $1,100 per square foot for two other properties on Hillview Avenue.

Aside from the Greater Boston area, the acquisitions help maintain the Bay Area’s position as one of Alexandria’s top markets. According to the firm’s website, Alexandria owns about 9 million rentable square feet in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its other markets include Seattle, San Diego, New York City and others.

As of this writing, Black Mountain Properties had not yet returned The Registry’s request for comment.

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