City Office REIT has completed the sale of its Sorrento Mesa life science holdings for $576 million. Net proceeds from the sale, after closing costs, total $543 million, but the overall investment generated a gain of $425 million, according James Farrar, City Office REIT CEO. The portfolio sold to an unnamed buyer, and were unencumbered by debt, according to an earlier report.

The REIT entered into a definitive agreement to sell the portfolio in August. At the time, City Office REIT expected the sales to be completed through two separate agreements.  The northern portion of the portfolio was scheduled to close in December 2021 for $395 million, while the southern portion of the portfolio was scheduled to close in February 2023 for $181 million.

The sale is exemplary of the strong demand for life science space in San Diego, one of the top three life science markets in the country. Demand for lab space in the market has increased 280% since March 2020, according to research from JLL. The demand is driving both leasing and investment activity. According to Tim Olson, senior managing director at JLL, "the incredible growth in the life sciences industry, which is displacing office tenants as offices buildings are converted to lab buildings, have been the driving forces behind the San Diego office leasing activity."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.