JLL arranges $290m Philadelphia life sciences construction loan

Corebridge Financial funded the loan, with The Baupost Group providing additional equity.

JLL has arranged a $290 million construction loan on behalf of Gattuso Development Partners and Vigilant Holdings that will be used to build a state-of-the-art life sciences property in Philadelphia’s University City submarket. Corebridge Financial funded the loan, with The Baupost Group providing additional equity.

The sponsors, Philadelphia-based Gattuso and New York-based Vigilant, are planning an 11-story development at 3201 Cuthbert Street. Additional details, including the terms of the financing, couldn’t be determined.

The planned property is close to Drexel’s University City campus, which is the heart of Philadelphia’s life sciences district. It will include 519,647 square feet of wet lab/dry space, 11,908 square feet of street-level retail space and 137 underground parking spots. When completed, the property will be the largest life sciences asset in Philadelphia.

Gattuso, president and co-founder of Gattuso Development Partners, said he believes the project is an important part of the development of Philadelphia’s life sciences hub.

The planned project has many of the features which are necessary in a life sciences project, including lab-friendly column spacing, expanded floor-to-floor heights and an HVAC system designed specifically for lab research. The sponsors have already pre-leased 45 percent of the space to SmartLabs and Drexel University.

A team led by Ryan Ade, Brett Segal and Christopher Peck arranged the financing.

Like many life sciences hubs, University City is seeing a supply-demand imbalance caused by high barriers to entry, Ade noted. The level of pre-leasing means the project has already been well-received by the market, Segal added.