Medical Device Maker Preleases Big Chunk of Space at San Diego Biotech Campus

Lou Hirsh

November 22, 2021

Biotech Campus Transaction Is Among Region’s Largest of Past Year as Life Science Demand Escalates

Prominent medical device maker BD Biosciences leased 220,000 square feet at a new life science campus underway in San Diego, among the largest leases of the past year in the region and the latest indicator of rapidly rising biotech space demand.

Developer Breakthrough Properties said it preleased the space to the lab diagnostic testing tools division of Becton, Dickinson and Co. in a planned 10-acre, three-building biotech campus called Torrey View. The campus is under construction in the Torrey Hills enclave near San Diego’s Del Mar Heights-Carmel Valley neighborhood and is slated for completion in the second half of 2023.

“BD’s early commitment to the project is emblematic of the intense and accelerating demand for high-quality research space in San Diego, which is benefiting from a continued influx of venture capital into the biopharma sphere,” said Daniel D’Orazi, executive vice president and head of acquisitions for Los Angeles-based Breakthrough Properties, in a joint statement with BD Biosciences.

Construction started in September at 11202 El Camino Real, at the intersection of El Camino Real and Carmel Mountain Road. Financial details of the lease were not disclosed, though the developer said BD Biosciences will occupy the largest of the planned buildings at the 550,000-square-foot campus, or more than 40% of the total space at Torrey View.

“Our new facility in San Diego will aid in elevating our research, development and operations capabilities and position BD for exciting growth,” Puneet Sarin, worldwide president for BD Biosciences, said in the statement. BD Biosciences employs 4,000 in San Diego, but the company did not specify how many of those would be locating to the new building.

Development costs for Torrey View were not disclosed. Plans call for indoor and outdoor communal spaces, conference and event facilities, a fitness center, pickleball courts and a storage area for bikes and surf boards. The planned parking garage will be topped by gardens and other green spaces, and plans also include pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

Breakthrough Properties, a joint venture formed in 2019 by global developer Tishman Speyer and biotech investment firm Bellco Capital, is developing Torrey View with co-equity partner Mitsui Fudosan America. Developers have tapped brokerage JLL to handle leasing.

A midyear JLL report noted that asking rents for life science space in San Diego, the nation’s third-largest biotech hub after Boston and San Francisco, were up by a record 22% from a year earlier. More than 900,000 square feet of San Diego life science-related leases were signed during the second quarter of 2021, up 54% from the year-earlier quarter.