The Flatiron Park business campus portfolio sale in early April represents the single largest single-asset transaction in Colorado’s history.
BioMed Realty LLC, through a series of holding companies, bought the roughly 1,000,000-square-foot, 22-building campus from Crescent Real Estate LLC for $625 million.
The deal comes a year to the month after Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners unloaded its Colorado Technology Center assets in Louisville for $393 million, at the time the largest sale by dollar volume in state history.
“Boulder has always been a market to watch, driven by highly educated talent, robust capital flow, an existing base of life science and tech pioneers and great quality of life,” BioMed vice president of leasing Mike Ruhl said in a statement when the deal closed. “As demand for office and lab space in the region continues to grow, we believe BioMed’s integrated platform and expertise is uniquely suited to support companies as they continue to scale in this key market.”
BioMed, a Blackstone portfolio company that owns about 13.7 million square feet of commercial space throughout the country, said it will pump $200 million in renovations and upgrades into Flatiron Park with the goal of increasing the presence of biotechnology companies within the campus.
About 15% of Flatiron Park is home to life sciences tenants, according to BioMed president of West Coast markets Jon Bergschneider, and part of BioMed’s investment will be upgrading buildings to bring that percentage closer to 50%.
“With this significant investment in Boulder, we’re delighted to become a part of this innovation-based community,” Bergschneider said in a statement provided to BizWest upon closing of the acquisition. “Beyond being a preeminent regional tech and life sciences hub, Boulder is a thriving community that couples innovation with a profound respect for natural resources and sustainable practices. We look forward to joining and supporting the Boulder community by not only providing best-in-class workspaces for companies to continue their life-saving and inventive work, but also by creating strong, long-term relationships with local organizations working to maintain Boulder’s unique identity as a gem in the Rockies.”
At $625 per square foot, the Flatiron Park deal could usher in a new era of pricing for office and flex spaces that cater to technology companies.
The 485,000-square-foot Pearl East Business Park, for example, sold in July 2021 for $190 million, or $391 per square foot. That was $40 million more than the selling owners paid for the property just two years prior and 123% higher than the $85 million that longtime owner W.W. Reynolds Cos. sold the complex for in 2015.
And Boston-based Tritower Financial Group LLC in June 2021 acquired the 60,030-square-foot former Trimble building at 2300 55th St. in Flatiron Park for $21 million, or $349.82 per square foot.
But other recent deals involving global tech users have seen much higher sale prices per square foot.
Google in September 2021 paid $97.8 million — or $782.40 per square foot — for a 125,000-square-foot office building in The Réve development across from its main campus at Pearl and 30th streets. But that was for a brand-new building directly across the street from its main campus.
Atlanta-based Invesco Ltd. last January purchased the Pfizer campus in Boulder for $99 million, or $653.96 per square foot.
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