Alexandria Center for AgTech-Research Triangle Opens, Second Phase Underway
Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE), an urban office REIT focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses, has officially opened the Alexandria Center for AgTech – Research Triangle, and has begun its second phase development.
California-based Alexandria declared the 5 Laboratory Drive campus on the former five-building Syngenta site officially open with a fully leased first phase: a 175,000-rentable-square-foot redevelopment. Alexandria said it is the country's first and only integrated multi-tenant, amenity-rich agtech R&D and greenhouse site.
The second phase, at 9 Laboratory Drive, will cover 160,000 rentable square feet upon opening in 2020. Construction and pre-leasing of this project are underway
Alexandria, which has extensive holdings in the Triangle, acquired the Syngenta site for $8.75 million in 2017.
Goal Is To Create Clusters
"Our mission is to create ecosystems and clusters that foster transformational discoveries to advance human health by fighting disease and improving nutrition," said Joel Marcus, executive chairman and founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments.
"We have spent the past 25 years creating and growing unique life science clusters that support trailblazing companies in the crucial fight to treat and cure disease. Now is the time to be at the vanguard of coalescing and growing this agtech cluster. Last year, we experienced a dramatic surge in capital invested in the agtech industry, with global venture capital funding up more than 40 percent to nearly $17 billion.”
He added, “Advances in precision farming, crop protection, gene editing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the microbiome aim to revolutionize our food system from farm to table. We are deeply focused on providing mission-critical infrastructure, strategic venture capital and impactful thought leadership to facilitate the breakthrough innovations that are vital to improving nutrition; ensuring a sustainable, accessible, cost-effective global food supply; and ultimately advancing human health."
The Alexandria Center for AgTech is already home to entities that range from global firms to emerging agricultural companies, including Arysta LifeScience North America LLC, Boragen Inc., Elo Life Systems Inc., Greenlight Biosciences Inc., Indigo Agriculture and Syngenta Crop Protection LLC (RTP).
The campus has been designed to be highly collaborative and includes modern amenities such as a state-of-the-art conference and event space, fully equipped fitness center, and plans for a healthy all-day café and specialty coffee bar. The 5 Laboratory Drive building features adaptable spaces that include a multifunctional lobby designed to serve as a place for informal collisions and meetings, as well as community and industry events.
Help For Emerging Agtech Companies
John Dombrosky, senior vice president – AgTech at Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Alexandria Venture Investments, disclosed the two new platforms to help emerging agtech companies: Alexandria LaunchLabs, a startup platform at the Center, and the agtech-focused Alexandria Seed Capital platform.
Dombrosky said the complementary platforms are designed to provide early-stage agtech companies with turnkey laboratory, office and greenhouse space, entrepreneurial support, strategic programming, and access to risk capital. He said it is aimed at “fostering the next generation of leading agtech companies to enable better nutrition and human health.”
Additional membership offerings include support resources, shared equipment and plant-growth chambers, strategic programming and mentoring, a highly experienced on-site operations team and access to seed capital through the Alexandria Seed Capital Platform – AgTech. Alexandria LaunchLabs – AgTech is currently accepting applications for members.