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SEATTLE-Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center said Friday it has acquired a 215,000-sf laboratory building here and will acquire a neighboring building of similar size as it moves forward with plans to launch its own research institute.

Children’s Hospital purchased the Life Sciences Building at 1900 9th Avenue from its developer, Touchstone, for a recorded price of $109 million. Children’s says the effective price is actually $79.5 million after lease and improvement obligations due Children’s are taken into account. The hospital also says it will exercise an option next September to acquire for $36 million 1915 Terry, an adjacent office building of similar size that the hospital is leasing in the meantime.

The two buildings total 467,183 sf. The hospital plans to move laboratory research to the Life Sciences Building throughout the next year. Plans for the 1915 Terry building include a seismic retrofit and renovation for laboratory use. The work will be timed to the hospital’s need for additional research space, which could be several years out.

Children’s stated goal is to acquire up to 1 million sf of space to advance its research mission. Kinzer Real Estate Services is representing the hospital in the analysis and acquisition of research properties.

Children’s Hospital chose the Downtown location near the South Lake Union neighborhood to be near Seattle’s growing research community. That community includes the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, both of which are partners with Children’s Hospital.

The hospital’s CEO Thomas Hansen says the two-year-old Life Sciences Building will help the hospital continue to attract top pediatric doctors. The building acquisitions put the hospital three years ahead of its schedule for creating the research institute, Hansen says. The hospital celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2007.

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