SAN DIEGO-The locally based REIT, BioMed Realty Trust Inc., has taken another step in making it the nation’s largest owner of life sciences property. The company has formed a joint venture with Prudential Real Estate Investors in order to close on its previously announced acquisition of the former portfolio of Lyme Timber Co. The deal carries a $507-million price tag, minus closing costs.

BioMed gets roughly 600,000 sf of life science space and entitlements to another 266,000 sf of developable land. The portfolio includes lab space at 320 Bent St. and 301 Binney St., both in Cambridge, MA’s Kendall Square, along with a development parcel adjacent to the Houston Medical Center in Houston and the Science Park at Yale, located adjacent to Yale University in New Haven, CT.

As part of the joint venture, BioMed and PREI picked up a $550-million secured acquisition and interim loan facility from KeyBank National Association. Initially, the JV borrowed $427 million. The remainder of the purchase price was funded 80% on behalf of institutional investors in a value-added commingled fund advised by PREI, and 20% by BioMed.

“PREI’s venture with BioMed is consistent with our focus on leveraging off of operating partners that have the expertise to help us invest in specialty property types with attractive risk-adjusted returns,” says Roger Pratt, PREI senior portfolio manager. Pratt adds that the “life science segment has tremendous opportunities for growth.”

As for BioMed, the JV will allow the firm to fund 85% of the initial purchase and “also provides capacity to fund all of the anticipated costs to complete construction and lease 301 Binney St.,” says Kent Griffin, CFO of BioMed. Griffin says the JV capital allows the company the ability to “fund existing redevelopment and development projects, as well as our ongoing acquisition pipeline.”

As for the former Lyme Timber properties, the 185,000-sf office and laboratory building at 320 Bent St. is fully leased to Schering-Plough and Microbia. The 420,000-sf life science project at 201 Binney St. is 27% preleased and still under construction. BioMed plans to invest $100 million to complete the building’s construction. Also as part of the acquisition BioMed gains a fully leased, 37-unit apartment complex and the 500-car Binney Street garage.

This acquisition is the third transaction between BioMed and Lyme Properties. Last November, BioMed paid Lyme $473 million for the 702,940-sf Center for Life Science Boston at 3 Blackfan Circle. The deal made BioMed the largest holder of life science properties in the Boston area. Last May, BioMed acquired a 1.1-million-sf portfolio of Cambridge life science buildings from Lyme.

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