A modern chemistry lab represents an element of the type of space life-sciences users need. | Courtesy a representative of Avison Young

Avison Young Starts Life-Sciences Group

Carrie Rossenfeld Office

Commercial real estate services firm Avison Young has created a life-sciences-specialty practice group, according to a release from a representative of the firm. The group, which will assist life sciences companies with their real estate needs, will be led by principal Jerry Keeney, managing director of the firm’s San Diego office, and principal Brian Cooper, also based in San Diego, in addition to New Jersey-based principal Tom Giannone and Steve Bleiweiss, SVP in the firm’s Metropark, New Jersey, office, the statement says.

The release also says the group will span 10 regional markets in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe and comprise 17 Avison Young leasing professionals.

Mark E. Rose, chair and CEO of Avison Young, is quoted in the release as saying, “The new practice group’s members understand the pharmaceutical product life cycle as well as the technical complexities that can create budgetary and scheduling risk associated with life-sciences firms’ real estate requirements.”

Some of these requirements include laboratories, vivariums, pilot plants, and manufacturing facilities, the statement says, adding that AY’s new group will address risks in the planning, designing, engineering, and construction phases of life-science spaces.

Rose adds in the statement that some of the aspects of serving life-science users that the group will address include site selection and evaluation, lease negotiation, construction management, and post-lease project management.

According to Keeney in the statement, “The life-sciences industry is expanding at a rapid pace, accounting for much of the leasing activity in markets such as San Francisco, Boston, and San Diego.” He adds that the group’s global nature will allow it to “formulate solutions for our clients who often have operations in more than one location.”

The release also says the crux of the group’s approach will be “a focus on integrating each client’s technical and financial requirements into the lease-negotiation process, ensuring that requirements are appropriately incorporated within transaction documents.” Doing so, it says, will allow the firm to develop “innovative strategies with credible budgets and schedules in early stages of transactions, providing clients with the facts needed to make more fully informed decisions.”

AY also offers value-engineering tools to help ensure that real estate solutions are planned, designed, and implemented with requisite scalability and completed under budget and on schedule, according to the release.

Giannone is quoted in the statement as saying, “Our new life-sciences-specialty practice group has created a transparent, risk-averse model that enables us to work with our clients’ internal resources on either a single transaction or for their entire portfolio.”

As SoCal Real Estate reported in August, rental rates for life-sciences space in many areas of the San Diego market are on the rise, according to a report released by a representative of JLL. The report says that rents for class-A space in Torrey Pines and UTC are in the low $4 triple-net per-square-foot-per-month range and are continuing to increase; rents in Sorrento Mesa continue are in the low-to-mid $3 triple-net per-square-foot-per-month range and are expected to increase during the second half of 2018; and rents in Sorrento Valley are holding their position in the low-$3 triple-net per-square-foot-per-month, with an expected increase over the balance of 2018 as the Sorrento Valley market remains tight.