Levit Green near Texas Medical Center lands first biotech tenant

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A Chinese biotech company has signed on as the first life sciences company in Hines’ highly anticipated Levit Green, the 53-acre mixed-use life sciences district In construction near the Texas Medical Center.

Sino Biological, a global biomanufacturing company specializing in the production of antibodies and recombinant proteins, would locate its first US-based manufacturing facility in Levit Green, according to Hines’ announcement. The Beijing-headquartered company signed a 10,000 square foot commercial lab and office lease in the first phase of Levit Green, being developed by Houston-based Hines and its partners 2ML Real Estate Interests. and Harrison St.

“Our new site in the planned Levit Green neighborhood (adjacent to) the heart of Texas Medical Center in Houston will allow Sino Biological to significantly expand its research services and bioreagent manufacturing capabilities in the United States,” said the Dr. Rob Burgess, Business Manager for Sino Biological.

EARLIER: 23-hectare life sciences district filled with lakes and restaurants rising near the Texas Medical Center

Sino Biological has an office in Houston which opened in early 2022 at 10101 Southwest Freeway. It was not immediately clear whether the company would move from that office or simply open a second location in the Houston area. Sino Biological plans to use the new Levit Green facility for product manufacturing as well as contract research services once it opens in the third quarter of 2023.

Located at the corner of Dixie Drive and Grand Boulevard, Levit Green is one mile east of the Texas Medical Center campus. However, its proximity to TMC should make it easier for Levit Green tenants to access TMC and the 37-acre biomedical research campus called TMC Helix Park (formerly known as TMC3) being built nearby.

Sino Biological plans to move into a five-story, 294,000-square-foot building with ground-floor restaurants and a sidewalk cafe overlooking a man-made lake. The building is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

A rendering of the lobby space in Building 1 at Levit Green, a 53-acre life science district being developed by Hines in partnership with 2ML Real Estate and Harrison Street.

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A future 5,800 square foot fitness center on the ground floor will feature large windows overlooking an outdoor garden near the building’s entrance. The first floor is also expected to include 25,000 square foot incubator space for startups, as well as a 7,000 square foot conference room capable of accommodating hundreds of people.

Hines is also delivering two turnkey commercial lab and office suites, 11,000 square feet and 7,000 square feet, which will be ready for occupancy by summer 2023.

Levit Green could lend a boost to the efforts of economic developers to foster the rise of a life sciences cluster in Greater Houston. Economic developers are trying to position Houston, which is already home to one of the largest concentrations of medical and research centers in the world, as a new center for biotechnology, medical technology and other life sciences – a so-called third coast – rivaling centers like San Francisco and Boston.

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Houston ranks well behind these East and West Coast powerhouses in a recent ranking of top life science talent markets, but the city still represents a “significant pocket of talent” — ranking 13th out of the top 25 markets for nationwide life science talent clusters in a analysis by the real estate company CBRE.

The Houston area also captured more than half of the $870 million in grants awarded to Texas by the National Institutes of Health in 2021, according to research by real estate firm JLL.

Real estate developers are embarking on the expansion of the life sciences sector here by building about 640,000 square feet of life science space, plus an additional 1 million square feet on offer, according to JLL.

JLL represented the Levit Green developers in lease negotiations with Sino Biological.

Sino Biological has subsidiaries in Suzhou, China; Taizhou, China; Frankfurt, Germany; and Wayne, Pennsylvania and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, ChiNext subsidiary (SZSE: 301047). The company describes itself as the world’s leading provider of mammalian cell-based recombinant proteins, antibodies and related contract research services.

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