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Market newcomer from Texas plans biotech spec buildings in Interlocken

BROOMFIELD — Hoping to cash in on the Boulder Valley’s biotechnology real estate gold rush, Dallas-based investor and developer Mohr Capital LLC is dipping its first toe in the market with plans to build a four-building speculative campus on a vacant parcel next to the Oracle Corp. operation in Broomfield’s Interlocken business park. 

“They’ve been looking to get into the market here for a while,” said WK Real Estate (Wright-Kingdom Inc.) broker Andrew Freeman, who, along with representatives from commercial brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE:JLL), is marketing the project. 

Mohr’s plan, Freeman said, is to build four, basically identical “life-science slash industrial-flex buildings” that will total nearly 400,000 square feet. 

“There may be a fifth building on the site for another 90,000 or 100,000 square feet, but initially we have four individual buildings planned,” he said.

The hope is to break ground in the second quarter of 2024 with completion by the end of that year.

The roughly 50 acre site is owned by Oracle, which has been shedding real estate and jobs over the past few years.

“At one point I think they were thinking about an expansion, but I guess they didn’t need it,” Freeman said of the property that Mohr intends to acquire and develop. “It’s just a phenomenal site next to Oracle.”

In recent years, the Boulder Valley has emerged as one of the nation’s premier hubs for biotechnology. As such, millions of square feet of new and redeveloped office and laboratory space have been built for and marketed to life-sciences companies. 

“The overall market northwest [of downtown Denver] and specifically the U.S. Highway 36 corridor has experienced tremendous growth” in its biotechnology industry, with corresponding growth in demand for research and development and flex-manufacturing spaces, Freeman said. “Even with a change potentially into an economic cycle [with lower or negative growth], there’s still limited supply [of biotech-centric real estate.] The area was never really overbuilt, and there’s a lack of developable land. So, even with the other projects starting to pop up along the corridor, we think there is still plenty of demand.”

Life-sciences projects along the U.S. Highway 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder include CoRE – Colorado Research Exchange, a project in Interlocken that is planned to include 450,000 square feet spread across four buildings; the Lafayette Corporate Campus, a 52,000-square-foot spec space from Sterling Bay Cos. LLC geared toward research and development uses; and Redtail Ridge, a long-percolating and controversial mega development from Brue Baukol Capital Partners LLC that could eventually house 2.6 million square feet of biotech lab, office and manufacturing space.

In Boulder on Walnut Street,  Conscience Bay Co. LLC is developing West Meadows, a roughly 112,000-square-foot project that it describes as a “cutting edge, two-story, science and technology development.”

Across town, BioMed Realty LLC is transitioning much of its square footage in the Flatiron Park corporate campus, which it bought a large portion of this spring for $625 million, into life-sciences-compatible space.

Meanwhile to the north, California-based life-sciences company Agilent Technologies Inc. is planning a major expansion at its Frederick manufacturing hub. That capital project, which is planned to add more than 400,000-square-feet to its existing operations, could cost more than three-quarters of a billion dollars. 

Source: BizWest