Part of the real estate of the Hahnemann University Hospital will be used for the life sciences laboratories

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Iron Stone Real Estate Partners, which recently acquired part of the former hospital complex of the University of Hahnemann, plans to offer one of the buildings as research and development laboratories for growing life sciences sector in the Philadelphia region

Hahnemann’s structure “Iron Stone”, chosen for the laboratories, housed Hahnemann’s own laboratories. This gives it an edge over many of the proposed office conversions in the city’s life sciences lab because it will be cheaper for the tenant to prepare, Jason Friedland, a partner at Iron Stone, said this week.

“We can customize it as we see fit, so let’s see what demand is actually there,” Friedland said. Iron Stone renames the former Bobst Building 120,000 square feet Race Street Labs because that’s where access is.

Iron Stone’s plan for R&D labs assumes that demand in the Philadelphia region for such space will grow 800,000 square feet to 1.5 million square feet by 2024, according to the research arm of JLL, a commercial research brokerage.

The number of proposed new laboratory space in the Philadelphia area is even larger over the same time period, at 3.3 million square feet, according to JLL.

Proposed office-to-laboratory conversions include chunks of floors in downtown Cira, portions of the Wanamaker Building, Cira Square (formerly Philadelphia’s main post office), 2323 Chestnut St. and 3624 Market Street, said Lauren Gilchrist, managing director. for research at Longfellow Real Estate Partners, which develops projects for technology and life sciences companies.

It is unlikely that much of this office space will be converted to laboratories until the tenant signs the lease.

“Here in Philadelphia we have a kind of chicken and egg where we have tenant demand for both R&D space and bio-production space, but that tenant demand in terms of time it is not necessary to agree synchronously, because we only have a few projects that are speculative, ”Gilchrist said generally speaking.

Friedland said that Iron Stone will be able to move quickly.

“We can compete in both quality and price because we have this gorgeous building that is almost ready for laboratory delivery and our base is low enough that we can invest whatever we need to make sure it is modern and exactly what the tenant wants, “he said.

Iron Stone completed the purchase of Hahnemann’s property earlier this month, paying Harrison Street Real Estate Partners $ 36 million for four 800,000-square-foot buildings, as well as an 850-car garage at 306-20 N. Broad St.

The purchase did not include the hospital’s main towers and other real estate still owned by Joel Friedman, a California businessman who partnered with Harrison Street in 2018 to buy Children’s Hospital of Hahnemann and St. Christopher for $ 170 million and 18 months later filed for bankruptcy.

Hahnemann closed two years ago.

Iron Stone also acquired most of the St. Christopher properties and leases them to the Tower Health and Drexel University joint venture, which operates the property. Other medicinal properties or former medicinal properties held by Iron Stone include: Girard Medical Center, 801 W. Girard Ave. and former Pennsylvania Hospital East Falls College of Medicine

The largest building bought by Iron Stone on Harrison Street is the 600,000-square-foot New College Building at 15th and Vine Streets, where Drexel’s medical laboratories are located. Drexel has a lease for at least six years.

The purchase also included two medical office buildings at 216-20 N. Broad St. and 231-33 N. Broad St .. Iron Stone plans to sell them for medical offices or social services, “whatever is needed to move large numbers of people,” Friedland said.

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