Amgen rejigs Bay Area presence with deal for new R&D facility

Amgen's Gateway of Pacific building in South San Francisco (Business Wire)

Amgen has signed a lease on a 240,000-square-foot facility in South San Francisco, positioning it to join AbbVie in a new campus. The nine-story building will house Amgen’s Bay Area employees when it opens early in 2022.

Today, Amgen leases seven buildings covering 684,000 square feet in the Bay Area, although some of this space is subleased to third parties. With those leases due to end between December 2021 and December 2023, Amgen has put in place new deals to secure its future in the Bay Area, modifying the terms of its current arrangement while forming an agreement with BioMed Realty for new space. 

The BioMed Realty deal will give Amgen a long-term lease on 240,000 square feet of space that is under construction at the Gateway of Pacific campus at Oyster Point. Amgen expects to move its Bay Area cardiometabolic, inflammation and oncology researchers into the digs in 2022. The scientists will work out of a site that has “modular green wet labs and green molecular lab design.”

Amgen is the second big biopharma company to commit to the Gateway of Pacific campus. AbbVie snapped up 94% of the 509,000 square feet of space BioMed Realty is creating in the first phase of the project. Amgen’s 240,000-square-foot facility will take up the north tower of the second phase of the project, which will provide 440,000 square feet of space in total. Construction of a third phase of the project, which will add a further 350,000 square feet of space, began recently. 

In conjunction with the deal for new space, Amgen has revised the terms of its existing leases with Healthpeak Properties. The lease on three buildings on Veterans Boulevard, which was due to expire in two years, is now due to run until the end of 2029. However, Amgen can terminate the lease on the 257,000 square feet of space in two tranches in 2022 and 2024. 

“With this amendment, Amgen retains flexible rights to continued occupancy at several important research and development facilities, while providing Healthpeak the clarity needed to advance discussions with prospective tenants looking for space at this irreplaceable campus,” Healthpeak Chief Financial Officer Pete Scott said in a statement.