Borrower profile: Taconic Partners maps $2bn life sciences pipeline after platform launch 

The New York-based manager believes lenders will be receptive to financing new deals and rehabs in the fast-growing sector.

Taconic Partners, a New York-based manager that has just launched a life sciences platform, is gearing up to execute on up to $2 billion of acquisitions, developments and redevelopments.   

The firm’s Elevate Research Properties subsidiary will focus on the acquisition, development, leasing, and management of Taconic’s growing life sciences portfolio and will be spearheaded by Matthew Malone, senior vice-president. 

While rising rates and volatility are affecting the broader commercial real estate transaction market, investors are still willing to move ahead with niche plays in sectors such as life sciences. Additionally, Taconic wants to put its own stamp on the effort.  

“What makes us a unique and interesting development organisation is that we’re interested in seeing some of these buildings repurposed rather than completely starting fresh,” Malone said. “We like the idea of maintaining neighborhood, repurposing buildings and bringing new forms of economy to those neighborhoods.” 

The firm expects to finance its deals with a mix of debt and equity, including working with limited partners and other investors including Nuveen and LaSalle. 

Pipeline plans  

With three projects in active development and one additional deal in the works, the firm is looking at a pipeline of about 1.4 million square feet of space. While these projects are in New York, the firm plans to expand its reach outside of the city. 

“New York City hasn’t necessarily identified itself yet as a life sciences or biology-based market,” Malone said, noting the city’s diversified economy includes multiple other industries. “We feel there will be more push and more support for the growth of biotechnologies in Manhattan. What’s interesting to us about New York is that the bio market is diversified in a way that you have these other opportunities as well, which gives us a certain comfort as well as a level of excitement.” 

Lenders have a similar sense of the market. “I think a lot of the lenders we’re working with see the city in the same way and are equally excited that it is a market that still hasn’t defined itself,” Malone added. “It has a lot of growth potential as a result.” 

Current projects 

Elevate Research Properties has two active lab developments in Manhattan, including 125 West End Avenue – a 400,000 square foot, $600 million lab development which will be finished in the second quarter of 2023. It is also working on The Hudson Research Center, a 320,000 square foot building already pre-leased to tenants including the New York Stem Cell Foundation, HiberCell, c16 Biosciences and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.   

Elevate will soon share plans for 309 East 94th Street, a $325 million project that will feature a 200,000 square foot Class A research lab development. The project, located near the new Second Avenue subway and some of New York city’s premier academic medical institutions, is slated to commence later this year. 

Alongside Malone, Taconic Partners’ executive vice-president Matthew Weir will serve as president of the new venture. “We are excited to launch this new platform, which will allow us to consolidate all of our life sciences investment activities to be able to more effectively and more directly communicate to the life science tenant market,” he said.