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New $100 million downtown Phoenix bioscience building in the works

New $100 million downtown Phoenix bioscience building in the works

Baltimore-based Wexford Science & Technology LLC is moving ahead on a new $100 million bioscience building in downtown Phoenix next door to an identical tower that’s now nearly 100% full.

The National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) is taking the entire seventh floor of the 227,000-square-foot 850 PBC building, which is part of the 1.7 millionsquare- foot Phoenix Bioscience Core campus.

That commitment by NIDDK amounts to 35,000 square feet of space.

Since 2005, NIDDK’s genomics division has been conducting research on the second floor of the TGen building, the first project to spawn the development of Phoenix Bioscience Core at the northwest corner of Seventh and Van Buren streets.

“They’re bringing all of their research in the Valley together on PBC,” said Kyle Jardine, market vice president for Wexford. “They are in space in the Phoenix Indian Medical Center at 16th Street and Indian School and are bringing that space here.”

NIDDK will continue to maintain its lab space at the TGen building, just south of 850 PBC.

“It allows them to have proximity to the lab at the TGen building,” he said. “Being within walking distance of that lab was very important to them. It was a big investment for them.”

Jardine declined to disclose details about the lease. Cushman and Wakefield’s Alexandra Loye, Scott Boardman, and Scott Johnston represented Wexford in the lease transaction.

Okland Construction will serve as general contractor and SmithGroup will design the NIDDK space.

Wexford plans new tower adjacent to 850 PBC building

In 2021, Wexford, in partnership with Arizona State University, opened the seven-story, 227,000-square-foot 850 PBC.

The building is home to more than 20 ASU research teams, Gateway Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation’s LabForce program, the ASU J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship and Innovation collaboration suite and Connect Labs by Wexford, a lab and innovation space for emerging and growth companies in the life sciences.

All that’s left to lease at 850 PBC is 25,000 square feet of space, which is on the south side of the sixth floor.

Wexford now is moving forward to on plans to build another structure of similar size at the southeast corner of Fifth and Garfield streets on that campus.

Wexford signed a letter of intent with ASU, giving Wexford the rights to develop the next building just east of 850 PBC, Jardine said.

While the exact height and square footage is still being determined, it most likely will be similar in size to the first 227,000-square-foot building, he said.

“That is the plan as of right now,” he said. “We are evaluating a couple of different options with ASU because of their new developments with everything else they’ve got going on.”

ASU has deal with Phoenix to develop bioscience projects

The city of Phoenix owns the land and ASU has an intergovernmental agreement with the city to develop bioscience and health projects there, while Wexford was been selected as the developer for that portion of the bioscience campus.

While he doesn’t have an exact construction start date, Jardine said he wants to begin “as soon as we possibly can.”

Meanwhile, Mayo Clinic is beginning work on Discovery Oasis, a 120-acre medical and research campus next to its hospital at 56th Street and Loop 101 in north Phoenix.

“It’s exciting,” Jardine said. “The big thing is, all ships rise with a rising tide. We look forward to being part of it in whatever capacity that may be, whether it’s just us staying down here and supporting from afar.”

Discovery Oasis could be a great sister location for PBC, offering different uses with larger plates that are difficult to achieve in an urban setting, he said.

“We love what’s going on there,” Jardine said. “I think for us, the biggest focus is the PBC and we’ll see what else happens. We’ve got so much potential here and investment here to focus on PBC.”

The other bioscience hub at Park Central in midtown Phoenix also is an exciting development for the region’s bioscience efforts, he said.

Jardine said he wouldn’t have any plans to build there because it’s too close to PBC.

“I’m pleased with what’s going on there,” he said. “We can be great support for each other.”

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