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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

New Campus Attracts Global Medical Leader

A global medical technology company is moving its San Diego offices to a developing life science campus in Torrey Pines and relocating some functions that it had been doing in San Jose to the new site.

BD Biosciences, a business unit of Becton, Dickinson (BD) has leased a 220,000-square-foot building that Breakthrough Properties is building on a 10-acre site at 11202 El Camino Real.

The five-story BD building is one of three that will constitute a 500,000-square-foot life science campus that Breakthrough Properties is calling Torrey View at the corner of El Camino Real and Carmel Mountain Road.

The other two buildings will be four stories.

“BD is exactly the type of dynamic and fast-growing firm we had in mind when we set out to create this life science campus,” said Susie Harborth, executive vice president for operations of Breakthrough Properties.

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Harborth declined to say how much Breakthrough Properties is paying to develop the campus.

She said construction has already started on the building BD is leasing and will finish in mid-2023.

Clark Construction, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is the general contractor, and Flad Architects based in Madison, Wisconsin designed the project. The commercial real estate brokerage firm JLL is marketing the campus.

“Because of the lack of available space and increasing demand even during this pandemic, we’re seeing really great companies want to expand into San Diego,” Harborth said.

In addition to the primary buildings in the Torrey View campus, the project will include a clubhouse, dedicated bike paths, outdoor meeting areas, more than 150,000 square feet of green space, bicycle and surfboard storage areas, and a variety of food offerings.

“This is a lifestyle campus for R&D; users, which is very rare in San Diego,” Harborth said. “We like to emphasize our pickleball court.”

Outdoor green spaces “provide a place for people to gather and collaborate but there also are zones for quiet contemplation, outdoors and indoors,” Harborth added. “It’s really meant to be a campus where companies can attract talent and grow with San Diego’s life science ecosystem, which is rapidly growing, and we’re excited to be a company of choice for these companies.”

Harborth said that the life science buildings on the campus will have multiple terraces, many with ocean views.

“We really thought about what it is like for a company like BD to recruit talent and inspire talent,” she added.

BD’s leasing of the building before it is even finished “is emblematic of the intense and accelerating demand for high quality research space, which is benefitting from a continued influx of venture capital into the biopharma sphere,” said Daniel D’Orazi, executive vice president and head of acquisitions for Breakthrough Properties.

According to JLL, life science leasing has reached record levels in 2021.

In the third quarter alone, more than 1.2 million square feet of life science space was leased in 36 transactions, according to JLL.

So far this year, nearly 2.8 million square feet of life science space has been leased in 106 transactions – surpassing the amount of spaces leased for the full year in 2020, which was the previous record.

Fueling the record pace of leasing was $911 million in venture capital invested in San Diego life science companies in the third quarter, bringing the total so far this year to more than $4 billion.

That in turn has driven vacancy rates for life science space to 3.5%, according to JLL.

Breakthrough Properties is among a number of developers hoping to capitalize on that investment and low vacancy.

Based in Los Angeles, Breakthrough Properties was founded in 2019 as a joint venture of Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital. Its equity partner in the Torrey View is Mitsui Fudosan America.

The firm earlier this year bought the eight-acre Torrey Plaza in Torrey Hills for $123.1 million.

Harborth said Breakthrough Properties hasn’t decided what to do with Torrey Plaza.

“We are evaluating the opportunities there,” she said.

Puneet Sarin, worldwide president of BD Biosciences, said the company would bring together fragmented operations into the new building in Torrey View. He said some workers would likely move from San Jose to San Diego, although he didn’t have any numbers.

“This is part of BD’s overall growth strategy,” Sarin said. “It will allow us to scale our operations to better serve our clients.”

Sarin said BD chose the Torrey Pines location because it is in the heart of San Diego’s life science cluster.

Currently Biosciences makes research reagents in San Diego. With the expansion, the company will make research reagents and clinical reagents in San Diego.

“San Diego going forward will become the largest manufacturing center for all the reagents,” Sarin said. “We are combining the reagent manufacturing in San Diego and San Jose into the new site in San Diego.”


Founded: 1897

CEO: Thomas Polen

Headquarters: Franklin, NJ

Business: pharmaceutical company

Annual Revenue: $17.1 billion (2020)

Employees: 70,093

Website: www.bd.com

Contact: 201-847-6800

Notable: BD is one of the largest medical technology companies in the world, with a presence in nearly every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues.

Breakthrough Properties

Founded: 2019

CEO and Co-founder: Dan Belldegrun

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Business: life science real estate investment firm


Website: www.btprop.com

Contact: 424-313-1550

Notable:  Breakthrough Properties is a joint venture between Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital


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