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MetLife Investment Management has completed its $103 million purchase of Burlington BioCenter, a 109,085-square-foot life science research and pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Burlington, Mass. Public records show MetLife financed the acquisition with a $54.4 million loan from Northwestern Mutual.

Newmark represented the seller, a joint venture between The Gutierrez Company and GEM Realty Capital, and procured the buyer. The partnership had acquired the property in 2019 for $23.4 million, according to CommercialEdge information.

Situated on 4.6 acres at 4 Burlington Woods Drive, Burlington BioCenter came online in 2014 as an office building and was converted to life science space in 2019. The property is fully leased by Ultivue, ProtaGene and CANbridge.


READ ALSO: Exploring Redevelopment Opportunities Within Life Sciences


Located just north of Interstate 95, the facility is close to an increasing number of similarly purposed properties within 12 miles of Boston and Cambridge, the nation’s largest and most sought-after market for life science investment and development.

Newmark Co-Head of U.S. Capital Markets Robert Griffin, Executive Vice Chairman Edward Maher, Vice Chairman Matthew Pullen and Managing Director Samantha Howell negotiated on behalf of the seller. In addition, Executive Managing Directors Douvadjian and Timothy O’Donnell, of the firm’s Boston Debt & Structured Finance Group, secured acquisition financing for the buyer.

Boston’s life science boom

With its dense number of research universities, hospitals and biotech companies, coupled with a flourishing office sector, the Boston metro remains one of the nation’s brightest markets, even in the face of a looming economic downturn and persistent headwinds. According to a third quarter 2022 report by Lincoln Property Co., the area had 17 million square feet of life science-purposed space under construction at the end of September, in addition to one of the nation’s lowest vacancy rates at 0.3 percent.

Understanding the strength of the market, Pullen told Commercial Property Executive, “Burlington BioCenter’s sale and lease-up are indicative of the fact that quality laboratory product is still experiencing an exceptional amount of investor demand and tenant activity despite the macro-economic headwinds that characterize today’s market.”

In October, The 105 by Breakthrough, a 263,000-square-foot facility leased by CRISPR, entered the metro’s life science inventory. The building was developed by Breakthrough Properties, a joint venture between Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital that had secured $3 billion in funds for the financing, construction and development of a global life science portfolio.

Some 6 miles from The 105, a planned mixed-use development dubbed Allston LabWorks is taking shape near Harvard University. Developers King Street Properties, Brookfield and Mugar Enterprises recently secured a $585 million construction loan for the 580,900-square-foot, life science-centric project.

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