Life Science Anchored Campus in Emeryville Hits the Market

Emeryville Public Market, City Center Realty Partners, Newmark Knight Frank, Emeryville
Courtesy of NKF

By Meghan Hall

[NEED INTRO] According to an offering document obtained by The Registry, the Emeryville Public Market has been posted for sale by San Francisco-based City Center Realty Partners. The 8.8-acre property totals 147,873 square feet and is life sciences and retail-anchored. Guidance pricing for the property, which was also recently repositioned, was not immediately available.

Newmark Knight Frank has been retained as the exclusive advisor; the firm did not return The Registry’s request for comment.

The existing development currently has 71,811 square feet of life sciences and office space, as well as 76,062 square feet of retail, which is anchored by a gourmet food hall. “The Property’s retail offers an exceptional amenity to the on-site life science and office tenants, the plethora of surrounding life science users, and to the residents of Emeryville,” states the offering memorandum. 

Currently, the property is 89 percent leased. 22,825 square feet currently belongs to the Public Market, which originally opened up in 1988. The market was entirely repositioned over the past several years and includes 24 different artisan shops and retailers. Newmark Knight Frank says that over its 30-year history, the food hall is one of the most successful in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“In 2017, the Food Hall was completely redeveloped and repositioned to create a food destination and gathering place for the 2020s,” the memorandum explains. “The design draws on inspiration from the sites industrial heritage and includes architectural elements, such as steel, wood, sandblasted concrete and ceramic tile. The space incorporates original installations from local artists.”

Other daily needs retailers include Corepower Yoga, Paradita Eatery, Peet’s Coffee and Orange Theory Fitness.

An additional 36,040 square feet is leased to Memphis Meats, a cell-based food production company. The company raised $161 million of Series B fundraising at the beginning of 2021 and subsequently executed an 11-year lease agreement for its offices.

NKF also stresses that the property poses a unique opportunity: the ability to add highly-sought-after life sciences square footage. Some of the property’s retail space, which currently includes Urban Outfitters, Guitar Center and Tower Retail, could be converted into 72,966 square feet of life sciences space should the occasion arise.

And, in an even larger opportunity, the property is being offered with a fully-entitled life science development site. Known as “Parcel B,” the 1.64-acre site is shovel ready. The development site has been approved for a nine-story mixed-use project that will include 190,210 square feet of life science space, as well as 15,800 square feet of ground floor retail or professional services space. 500 parking stalls are also included in the plans.

“Parcel B provides an investor with the exceedingly rare opportunity to gain immediate scale within a market currently experiencing record demand for life science space,” explains the memorandum.

Emeryville is becoming a hub in its own right. Located just outside of San Francisco near the I-80, I-880 and I-580 freeways, the Bay Bridge and transcontinental rail lines, its easy access has made it appealing to growing companies. More than 150 biotech companies are located in Emeryville today, and the city, states NKF, is the fastest growing life sciences cluster in the United States. 

Nearby companies include Siemens Healthineers, Bayer, DSM and Zymergen. Also not far are U.C. Berkeley’s bioengineering department as well as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Zymergen has 465,000 square feet of space in Emeryville, while Bayer occupies 342,000 square feet. Other large occupiers include Novartis and Amyris, who have 140,000 square feet and 89,000 square feet, respectively. In the coming years, NKF states that growing demand drivers in Emeryville and the greater Bay Area will continue to bolster the property fundamentals of assets like the Emeryville Public Market.

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