Biotech is Coming to Morrisville, NC- 1 Billion Invested!

Dated: January 5 2022

Views: 16

Two developers that have invested significantly across the Triangle in recent years are targeting Morrisville for a massive new life sciences campus that could eventually add 1.5 million square feet of space ( WOW!)  for biotech companies. The project — called Spark LS and backed by North Carolina developer Trinity Capital and Miami Beach-based Starwood Capital — comes with a $1 billion price tag and will include space for restaurants and retail in addition to more than a dozen buildings designated for lab space and bio-manufacturing.

It’s the latest in a wave of life science-focused projects being planned for the Triangle’s red-hot biotech sector, which has built significant momentum over the past two years.

In 2021 alone, around $4 billion worth of biotech investments were announced in the Triangle, including significant projects from Fujifilm Diosynth, Amgen and Jaguar Gene Therapy, according to the N.C. Biotechnology Center. And already some 10 million square feet of biotech space is under development in the region, according to the real estate services firm Newmark.

In a sign of how much interest the Triangle’s economy is attracting, Spark is being built on speculation with no tenants signed on yet. “I think it has a lot to do with the anticipated tenancy being life science,” Jeff Sheehan, a partner at Trinity Capital, said in an interview. “When the pandemic hit, business got slow for a lot of traditional office developers, but in the life-science business, we actually saw an acceleration.” And the demand for lab and manufacturing space at Trinity Capital’s other Triangle properties has remained strong, Sheehan said. “We’re seeing the demand from a front row seat,” he said. “And that’s what makes us so optimistic and willing to make such a big bet on a speculative basis.” Another reason the company is optimistic is the state’s aggressive recruitment of biotech companies.

Dozens of biotech companies have expanded to the Triangle in recent years after landing incentive packages from the state.

One of Trinity’s current tenants includes the biotech company GRAIL, which said in 2020 it would add 400 jobs in Durham after getting an incentive package worth more than $6 million from North Carolina and Durham County. “We probably wouldn’t be as bullish about this investment if we didn’t have great partners like Wake County, Morrisville and the state,” Sheehan said. “It will be key to work together to recruit this talent, because it’s very competitive out there. Everybody is trying to recruit these companies in every state around the country.” Spark will be built in phases, Sheehan said, with the first phase expected to add three buildings of more than 400,000 square feet. The first phase could also include an incubator space for startups, he added.

Spark will be at the intersection of McCrimmon Parkway and Airport Boulevard in Morrisville, between Research Triangle Park and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Location of Site

Last year, the town of Morrisville changed zoning laws in that part of the town to encourage denser development and attract more businesses, The News & Observer previously reported. Sheehan said the zoning changes were a game changer for the property. “I think if Morrisville had not done the zoning changes, this (land) probably would have gone to a warehouse type of use instead of life science,” he said. The Spark project will roughly double the amount of space that Trinity and Starwood own together in the Triangle. The two also are developing Park Point in Research Triangle Park and the Southport Innovation Center in Morrisville.

Not only Google and Apple in recent announcement but also this one. No wonder that the housing market is Red Hot!

Blog author image

Thomas Wohl

Living in the Triangle for over 25 years now, I'm excited to show my clients all the things I love about this area and why I've chosen this as my home away from home! Originally from Europe, my youth ....

Latest Blog Posts

Existing Homes Sales Decline! Know the reason....

Know the Numbers: Existing-home sales decreased 4.6% between November and December, hitting a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 6.18 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Read More

Finally, Good news for Buyers as New Construction Starts are surging?

The numbers: U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of roughly 1.7 million in December, representing a 1% increase from the previous month, the U.

Read More

Is your Realtor leading you Astray? Red flags to look out for....

I am a big proponent of knowledge and education in my profession I wanted to share some signs of a "bad" agent that a Buyer should look out for.  If you're a buyer, there's really no

Read More

There may be a slight correction in pricing.... -what buyers need to know about the housing market in 2022!

Though housing prices have been rising, mortgage rates remain near historic lows, though many experts think they will rise. And that’s leading many Americans to wonder what to do about buying

Read More