San Diego Business Journal

IQHQ, the Solana Beach firm behind the planned $1.5 billion life science campus in downtown San Diego, has raised $1.7 billion in equity from new and existing partners.

“It’s exciting times,” said John Bonanno, chief investment officer of IQHQ. “It does take an awful lot of capital to develop large life science projects.”

Bonanno said the funding puts the company’s financing at just under $2.5 billion, adding that the new money is a testament to investor confidence in the year-old firm.

“It’s an awful lot of money. It goes pretty quickly when you’re dealing with projects in excess of $1 billion, very large projects,” Bonanno said.

When the company started raising capital, the firm didn’t have a history to build on.

“Since that time, we’ve made several acquisitions and people like what they’re seeing and it’s (life science) a pretty hot market type, especially in the world of COVID,” Bonanno said.

More to Come

IQHQ CEO Steve Rosetta said in a statement that the latest round of the firm’s financing “validates IQHQ’s solid strategy, our exceptional team, and our success in identifying and securing premier life science developments in top markets.”

“It is important to take this opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished since our initial raise, and the most exciting part is that we are just getting started,” Rosetta said.

The firm raised $770 million in its first round of financing.

The infusion of capital will fuel the company’s development pipeline that includes 4.4 million square feet of life science projects in Boston in addition to the 1.7 million square feet of life science office space and 200,000 square feet of retail planned for downtown San Diego.

The Boston project is estimated to cost $1 billion.

Bonanno said IQHQ also has acquired a 27-acre site in West Cambridge near Boston where it plans to build another life science project.

“It’s a pretty big life science area back there,” Bonanno said. “We’re going to build several buildings.

He said the project will have 650,000 square feet of rentable space.

“It’s a suburban project it’s still very much transportation oriented and surrounded by tons of housing,” Bonanno said.

IQHQ also is planning a 300,000 square-foot life science project in San Francisco.

Moving

Although barely a year-old, IQHQ by the financing method it chose is “predestined to become a private company, Bonanno said, adding that based on the current timetable, that could happen by mid-2024.

“It might possibly be extended out a big longer,” Bonanno said. “We’re fired up getting it done.”

The firm also plans to move its headquarters to downtown San Diego.

IQHQ in September acquired a more than eight-acre site along the San Diego waterfront that had been part of the Manchester Pacific Gateway project to build what it’s named the San Diego Research and Development District (RaDD).

At the time, the firm said the project will include a 17-story tower, several labs, office buildings and a museum.

“It’s really a great opportunity to do something and sort of be a destination for a lot of people,” Bonanno said.

Excavation has begun on that first phase of the project that will include four buildings taking up about half the space of the overall project and a piazza, Bonanno said.

Carrie Bobb & Co. announced on LinkedIn that it was handling leasing of the San Diego project.