By Kevin Tremblay, Senior Vice President, California Markets, BioMed Realty
To say I feel lucky to have been born and raised in San Diego is an understatement. From the beautiful beaches to the idyllic climate, there truly is no better place. The same can be said for the company I work for, BioMed Realty, a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries. BioMed’s roots run deep here, also calling San Diego home for over 18 years. BioMed and I can’t get enough of all San Diego has to offer.
On behalf of BioMed, I can say we are extremely proud of our longstanding San Diego heritage and everything that comes along with it – from our partnership with the city to our involvement in local community groups. We are in awe of the current state of the life science industry here and are thrilled about the potential of the industry and city.
BioMed’s Roots in San Diego
BioMed Realty was founded in 2004 and spent the first 16 years headquartered in Rancho Bernardo. We have since moved to the beautiful University Towne Center, one of the region’s life science hubs and the heart of San Diego’s core market. Beyond the beautiful buildings we create, the heart of our company is the talented folks who work here. BioMed employs a total of 262 industry leaders, 160 of which are based in San Diego, who offer in-house expertise at every stage of development from building to leasing to facility management. They are a truly dedicated group that offers mission-critical real estate for our clients to perform their life-saving work.
Back when BioMed was acquired by Blackstone in 2016, we committed to spending more than $800 million in San Diego. This investment has helped to provide more than 600 construction jobs in the local region aside from our industry experts.
We operate nearly 15 million square feet across the core life science markets (Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and Cambridge, U.K.), with an additional 4.6 million square feet of Class A properties in active construction and 5.5 million square feet of future development. In San Diego alone, we have 2.5 million square feet of properties that are 99% leased. Additionally, we have another 2.5 million square feet of development potential in progress.
Aside from supporting the life science community in San Diego by providing and maintaining the necessary real estate, BioMed also supports local initiatives to strengthen the community. For instance, we partnered with The Salk Institute and Assistant Professor Christina Towers, a top researcher in the field of cancer biology and matched up to $1 million to fund recruitment and research. We also support Biocom, CureJM and Neighborhood Healthcare within the community. We are also a Gold Sponsor of the San Diego-based Athena organization – a women’s advocacy organization that fast-tracks women in STEM through leadership development.
Life Science in San Diego:
The pandemic shined a light on the importance of the life science industry, and San Diego’s impact on these efforts remains some of the most vibrant in the country, employing 72,000 people and contributing $27.7 billion in the local economy.
San Diego’s life science community consists of four core sub-markets: Torrey Pines, UTC, Sorrento Valley and Sorrento Mesa. BioMed has a meaningful presence in each location. World-class health care facilities, top-ranked universities, esteemed research institutions and innovative companies fuel the region’s culture of collaboration and opportunity.
We have more than 100 life science and technology tenants in San Diego alone, notably Illumina, UC San Diego School of Medicine, Abbott Laboratories, Thermo Fisher and The Salk Institute. We are proud of the work our tenants do and thankful that the scale of BioMed’s platform allows them the flexibility to grow, as needed.
BioMed will continue to remain bullish in San Diego because we believe in the capabilities of this community and don’t see that changing any time soon. San Diego has a top-tier talent pool, impressive research institutions, VC activity, and offerings of an enviable lifestyle which sets this community apart from many others. That’s a competitive advantage over most other innovation markets.
The life science industry is shifting as well. There’s much more investment, bringing about much more demand. The amount of capital we’re seeing tenants raise is substantial. A $10 million funding round used to be massive, and it still is, but more often than not, we’re seeing $50 million rounds. This funding helps our tenants get to the next milestone, and there’s arguably more public acceptance of the industry’s goals than ever before.
BioMed is excited about the opportunities to advance future developments that will appeal to a variety of local, regional, and national life science and technology employers seeking to tap into San Diego’s rich talent pool, including the UC San Diego community.
BioMed is working towards growing the supply of mission-critical real estate in the community to support the current and expected demand. We are willing and able to invest in our portfolio here in our hometown. We know not every building or campus is created equally, so we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to supporting the industry and community with operational excellence that is second to none. We are proud of where we came from and humbled to be able to continue to invest in and shape the future of the life science industry here in San Diego.