Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., an urban office REIT focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, is creating the Alexandria Center for AgTech – RTP — the initial phase of a premier multi-tenant mega campus in Research Triangle Park (RTP)—and is leading the cluster’s evolution into a first-in-class AgTech ecosystem at the forefront of newly emerging innovations that address global hunger as it impacts human health.
Located at 3054 East Cornwallis Road, which Alexandria recently acquired through an affiliate, the Alexandria Center for AgTech – RTP is adjacent to Alexandria’s 6 Davis Drive, and the collective development of the two campuses will form a 1 million square foot-plus mega campus that will support the AgTech sector in its continued, dramatic growth.
The first phase of the project is the strategic redevelopment of the Cornwallis site into 175,000 rentable square feet of best-in-class office/laboratory and greenhouse facilities and a highly curated amenities center designed to foster innovation, drive productivity and enhance collaboration.
Alexandria is the country’s leading owner, operator and developer of dynamic life science, technology and AgTech campuses. Founded on the belief that innovative companies are most successful when positioned in the epicenter of the world’s top ecosystems and in close proximity to world-renowned academic institutions, cutting-edge scientific and managerial talent and sophisticated risk capital, Alexandria has utilized economist Michael Porter’s cluster theory to position itself as a first mover in developing world-class life science and technology clusters to spur innovation and collaboration. Home to the largest assemblage of the world’s leading industry crop protection and seed companies, renowned academic institutions, skilled talent and an expanding pool of ag-focused venture capital, RTP has been identified by Alexandria as the ideal location to develop the first multi-tenant, amenitized mega AgTech campus.
“Through our vision and development of the first multi-tenant, amenity-rich mega AgTech R&D and greenhouse campus, our strategic investment in agricultural innovation and our vanguard position of thought leadership in support of advancing the agricultural field, we are fostering the next generation of companies and technologies that are essential to the future growth of the AgTech sector,” said Joel S. Marcus, chairman, CEO and founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments and chairman and founder of AgTech Accelerator Corporation. “We believe no one is better positioned than Alexandria to lead the way in this mission-critical endeavor.”
Agriculture is fundamental to society and humanity, touching virtually every facet of people’s lives and directly impacting the environment. With the world population estimated to exceed 9 billion by 2050, combined with a rising middle class that is shifting to protein-rich diets and increasing the demand for bio-based products, the global market for agricultural production more than doubled over the past decade. The need to focus on the creation of a one-of-a-kind AgTech ecosystem to address the mission-critical challenge of improving human health through ending global hunger has never been greater.
The expansive Alexandria Center for AgTech – RTP campus will create a thriving ecosystem to facilitate the discovery and development of converging technologies that hold the potential to reshape agriculture as we know it today. The campus’s high-tech greenhouse and R&D facilities will enable Alexandria to fill a critical industry demand for greenhouse space, a scarce resource not just in RTP, but also across the country. Upon completion, campus amenities, currently absent in the area, will include an innovative conference and event space, a fully equipped fitness and wellness center, a healthy restaurant concept, open green space and an on-site garden.
Alexandria is seeing strong demand for the Alexandria Center for AgTech – RTP from a range of leading companies at all stages of development. The campus’s initial tenants are AgTech Accelerator Corporation, an RTP-based funding vehicle focused on discovering and developing emerging AgTech companies, and Boragen, a small-molecule company pioneering next-generation novel chemistry solutions for plant and animal health. Alexandria’s current asset base in RTP of more than 1 million RSF is nearly 98% leased to high-quality and diverse tenants, including AgTech entities, which range from multinational companies such as Bayer Crop Science, Medicago (owned by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma), Monsanto and Novozymes to growth- and early-stage companies such as Benson Hill Biosystems and Mimetics.
In addition to developing first-class real estate, Alexandria has focused on investing in and accelerating AgTech startups for more than two decades. In 2016, Alexandria Venture Investments, the company’s strategic venture capital arm, led a strategic investment syndicate to create AgTech Accelerator Corporation. In partnership with Alexandria Venture Investments, the AgTech Accelerator investment syndicate currently includes ARCH Venture Partners, Bayer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Elanco Animal Health, Flagship Pioneering, Hatteras Venture Partners, Mountain Group Capital, Pappas Capital and Syngenta Ventures.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities is an urban office REIT uniquely focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, with a total market capitalization of $14.5 billion and an asset base in North America of 28.2 million square feet as of March 31, 2017.