Investment company Lateral has acquired a key site in Cambridge for £15 mln (€17.3 mln) from an overseas investor as part of its drive to deliver lab space to the life sciences sector.
In a joint venture with Amazon Capital, the transaction marks the first life science sector purchase of Amazon Property’s new £250 mln fund, announced in April this year.
At the time Amazon said it would focus on investing in joint venture opportunities in the logistics, managed offices, PBSA, retirement and life sciences sectors using the fund to provide private equity funding platforms to joint venture partners, development managers and asset managers.
Lateral is both a developer and asset manager and will complete a new life sciences scheme at the Mortlock House, Station Road site in Q1 2023.
Rob Beacroft, director at Lateral, said: 'Cambridge is the most mature life sciences market in the UK, and one of the top global locations.
'Despite the proliferation of the sector generating 1m ft2 (92,900 m2) of tracked lab demand, Cambridge has little to no fit for purpose lab stock. Our technical expertise and comprehensive understanding of market dynamics identified Mortlock House as a prime candidate to deliver ready to go lab space.
'For the UK life sciences sector to fulfil its undoubted potential, investors and developers must take the headache of real estate away from the occupier and focus on speed to occupation and a consumer-focused service. That is what we intend to do in Cambridge, Whitechapel and throughout our wider pipeline.'
Lateral recently bought a key site near the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, which will become the first purpose-built R&D facility brought to market within Whitechapel’s emerging life sciences cluster and has a strong pipeline of schemes to bring forward over the coming 12 months.
Mortlock House comprises 31,248 ft2 of space opposite Vision Park and is currently vacant. It is well located, close to the city centre and Cambridge Science Park and just off the guided bus rail and J4 of the M11.
Chris Lanitis, CIO at Amazon Capital, added: 'We are delighted to have secured the first of many life science investments following the launch of our £250m fund.
'Life science is a sector we believe in with robust fundamentals and we have every faith in Lateral’s sector expertise to mitigate risk and maximise returns. This marks our second joint venture with Lateral, the first being a value-add managed office space in the South Bank.'