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Almac Group Breaks Ground on $100M North American HQ in Harleysville, Pa.
 
Almac Group, a life sciences research-and-development service company headquartered in Northern Ireland, broke ground last week on a new $100 million, 240,000-square-foot North American headquarters campus in the Philadelphia suburb of Harleysville, Pa., within Lower Salford Township. The facility is part of a consolidation project set to grow to 1 million square feet.
 
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell joined Sir Allen McClay, Almac Group chairman; and Sam Kriebel, a local farmer and longtime resident, in a ceremony marking the start of construction of the 40-acre campus.
 
The project, set to be completed in 2010, will allow Almac to add 265 staffers to its 495 current employees. They will relocate to the new HQ from 1040 Stony Hill Road in Yardley, Pa., where Almac group now maintains its clinical technologies divisions; and 2661 Audubon Road in Audubon, where the company has its sciences and part of its clinical services divisions.
 
The new headquarters will initially house clinical technologies and another division, clinical services, though the company said it plans to shift other divisions to the campus over time.
 
In remarks at the ceremony, McClay said job numbers are “anticipated to grow significantly in the years ahead.”
 
Almac Group received a total $9 million in state and local economic subsidies. They included a $4.5 million state grant from the Infrastructure and Facilities Improvement Program, secured through the Governor’s Action Team; a $2 million loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority; about $1.4 million combined from a grant, job training and job creation tax credits; and a nearly $1.3 million Infrastructure Development Program grant.
 
In addition to its Craigavon headquarters and Yardley, Almac Group has US operations in Audubon, Pa.; Durham, NC; and San Francisco.
 

 
Scottish Medical Research Center Eyes Possible November Opening for Third Phase
 
The Centre for Health Science in Inverness, Scotland, UK, is on track to complete its third and final phase by year’s end, possibly in November, the project’s construction manager Mark Douglas of Rok told the Press and Journal of Aberdeen.
 
The £23 million ($45.9 million) project — to open near Raigmore Hospital — is designed to bring together researchers, healthcare providers, and organizations specializing in education, training, and business development within the first facility of its kind in the UK.

The third phase will include laboratories, a clinical research facility, and space for startup businesses spinning out of academic institutions. The development phase is projected to create 370 jobs. 
 

The project will receive partial funding from the European Regional Development Fund, with the remainder coming from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Phase one saw the development of academic facilities, including a large onsite library; while phase two consisted of several simulation suites together with a full-size “simulation” ward.
 

 
Developer Breaks Ground on R&D Complex in Bristol Township, Pa., With $6M From State
 
Ground was broken July 23 on a 230,000-square-foot research-and-development complex projected to bring between 300 and 500 jobs to Pennsylvania’s Bristol Township.
 
The Bridge Business Center will consist of two renovated lab-office buildings totaling more than 170,000 square feet — set for life sciences use, and formerly occupied by the Fortune 500 specialty materials company Rohm and Haas — as well as a new 60,000-square-foot building to be subdivided condominium-style for use by multiple industrial businesses.
 
Within the renovated space will be 50,000 square feet of lab space to be leased at below-market rents of $10 to $25 per square foot. The state has awarded $6 million from its Building PA program toward the lab project to developer Keystone Redevelopment Group of Doylestown, Pa.
 
“There's not a lot of lab space, high-end [research and development] space, in Bucks County. We saw that as a market opportunity,” Robert Loughery, a Keystone principal, told the Bucks County Courier Times.
 
Keystone has rights to purchase a third building of 140,000-square-foot building from Rohm and Haas, which is being acquired by Dow Chemical; as well as rights to build on 5 acres of undeveloped land. Keystone has completed a variety of projects in the region — from the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County in Doylestown Township; to The Powerhouse at Grundy Mills, the conversion of a former electric power plant into 30 loft condominiums; and a 70,000-square-foot mixed-use project at Canal's End Plaza that included the turn-of-the-20th-century, 1,460-seat Grand Theatre.
 
The developer said it will use renewable energy to power the Bridge Business Center. That could make the project eligible for funding through a $650 million alternative energy measure recently signed into law by Gov. Edward Rendell: “We had to think, in challenging economic times, what would motivate a company to locate here?” Loughery told the newspaper.
 

 
Shorenstein Properties, SKS Close $84M Purchase of Oyster Point Campus, Marina
 
A joint venture of Shorenstein Properties and SKS Investments has closed on its approximately $85 million purchase from Shelton Corp. of Honolulu of the 34-acre Oyster Point Business Park, and nearby Oyster Cove Marina in South San Francisco.
 
The business park consists of a six-building, 404,125-square-foot life sciences campus at 375-389 Oyster Point Blvd., near Highway 101, and an adjacent 235-berth marina. The campus is 88 percent leased, with AMB Property Corp. of San Francisco handling property management.
 
Talk in local real estate circles has Shorenstein seeking to double the amount of space available for life sciences tenants, to 1 million square feet. In a statement, Douglas Shorenstein, chairman and CEO of Shorenstein Properties, said the property afforded investors "the added long term potential of significant value creation through carefully-planned development at the appropriate time in the market.
 

 
IATRICa becomes Fifth Tenant at East Baltimore’s Science + Technology Park
 
IATRICa, the developer of a new class of biological molecules designed to fight cancer and infectious diseases, has signed a lease for 1,333 square feet at 855 North Wolfe St., also called the John G. Rangos Sr. Building, and the first of five planned life sciences/office buildings at Baltimore’s Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins.
 
IATRICa is the fifth tenant to formally commit to space at the campus, now 46 percent leased.
 
Tenants at the 278,000-square-foot office/research building include the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, which leases 99,000 square feet; Cangen Biotechnologies with 12,000 square feet; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute with 5,600 square feet; and BioMarker Strategies with 1,200 square feet. Amenities include access to the use of research equipment on the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions campus.
 
The brokerage team of Colliers Pinkard/ROC Realty and Scheer Partners handled the transaction for IATRICa and the Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, a joint venture between Forest City Enterprises’ Science + Technology Group and the residential development consortium Presidential Partners.
 
855 North Wolfe St. was completed in April [BRN, April 14].
 

 
Thermo Fisher Scientific: Clinical Packaging Facility in India ‘On Track’ to Open in Q4
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific is “on track” to open a $17 million clinical packaging facility in Ahmedabad, India, Marc Casper, executive vice president and chief operating officer, told analysts at the company’s conference call to discuss its second-quarter earnings.
 
“When completed this 150,000 square foot facility will help us to meet growing demand for biopharma logistics outsourcing services, in response to the increasing number of clinical trial patients in India,” Casper told analysts.
 
The new facility will expand the company’s presence in India to more than 20 facilities and offices, and roughly 625 employees across the country, Casper said, “putting us in an excellent position to capitalize on India's future growth.”
 
In India, Thermo Fisher Scientific runs a demonstration laboratory in Mumbai, and since last year has made two acquisitions — Qualigence, which accounts for about $25 million of annual revenues; and two divisions of Chemito, which generate about $10 million in annual revenues.
 

 
Medical Research Foundation Renews 11,020 Sq. Ft. Lease in Uptown Houston
 
The Clayton Foundation for Research has renewed its lease of 11,020 square feet of office space at One Riverway, within Houston’s Uptown submarket.
 
The foundation was represented by professionals with two commercial real estate companies, Ed Prejean of Jones Lang Lasalle, and Beth Young of Young Commercial. Steve Rocher and Dave Hanusa with CB Richard Ellis represented the building owner, Unilev Management Corp., in a deal announced by CBRE last week. 
 

 
Law Firm Renews Lease, With Expansion Options, in Houston’s Central Business District
 
The Houston office of the law firm Jones Walker Waechter Poitevent Carrere & Denegre has renewed its lease for 10,528 square feet at Chase Tower, 600 Travis St. within the city’s central business district.
 
Jones Walker was represented by four professionals with the commercial real estate company CB Richard Ellis: Kyle Kelley, Lance McCarthy, Lesa Nickelson, and Charles Gordon. The building’s owner, Texas Tower Limited, was represented by Sam Hansen and Chrissy Wilson of the commercial real estate company Hines.
 
In a statement, CBRE said Jones Walker has options for additional space, in anticipation of future growth. The law firm’s clients include medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and laboratories and testing facilities.
 

 
On Eve of 10th Anniversary, SuperArray Bioscience Relocates to Larger Facility, Changes Name
 
SABiosciences Corp. — which changed its name last week from SuperArray Bioscience Corp. — has moved within Frederick, Md., to new space more than double the size of its former location.
 
SABiosciences has relocated to the 43,000-square-foot 6951 Executive Way, within the newly developed Westview South Office Research Center. The new offices are a few blocks from the company’s previous home base, within 18,000 square feet at 7320 Executive Way, which SABiosciences said it has outgrown.
 
The company said in a statement its changes reflected both its growth over the last few years, as well as its expansion beyond gene expression analysis, into additional technologies. SABiosciences said it now also offers gene function analysis solutions such as RNA interference, ELISA kits, cell-based reporter assays, as well as chromatin immunoprecipitation and other products for epigenomics research.
 

 
BioTrove Expands With West Coast Customer Support, Corporate Presence in Mind
 
BioTrove, a developer of technology platforms for genomic research and drug discovery, has opened an office in the Bay Area community of San Carlos, Calif.
 
BioTrove said its new corporate offices and laboratory will enable the company to expand its customer and technical support to West Coast clients by facilitating research collaborations, as well as technology demonstrations of the company's OpenArray genomic analysis system and RapidFire high-throughput mass spectrometry system.
 
"We already have marketing collaborations underway with Applied Biosystems and Agilent [technologies], so being close to our partners' facilities in the Bay Area enables further support and development of these important relationships," said Bob Ellis, executive chairman, president of international sales, and a director of BioTrove, in a written statement.
 

BioTrove said it will continue to house its corporate headquarters in Woburn, Mass.

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