Breakthrough Properties recently announced that it had started construction on its project in Center City, Philadelphia. The developer is a life sciences-focused joint venture between real estate investment companies Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital.

The project is an overbuild redevelopment of the three structures already standing on the site bounded by Market Street, South 23rd Steet, Ludlow Street, and 24th Street. Shane Funston and Jack Meyers of the Philadelphia-based Cushman & Wakefield team are the exclusive leasing agents for the new Center City office and life sciences space, which is expected to be ready for the first tenant fit-outs in the summer of 2024.

In collaboration with Philadelphia-based D2 Capital Advisors, Breakthrough secured a construction loan for $130 million from Corebridge Financial, which allowed the developer to advance work on the site significantly.

The first phase of the project, titled 2300 Market by Breakthrough, is set to rise eight stories tall and incorporate more than 220,000 square feet of life sciences and office space in Center City West. Dedicated to science research and discovery, the property boasts an excellent academic cluster location adjacent to the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University and within close proximity to leading academic medical centers.

“In addition to world-class infrastructure and amenities, 2300 Market by Breakthrough will also be defined by its premier location,” said Breakthrough Properties Senior Director of Development, Joe Traynor. “Nestled between the dynamic neighborhoods of Center City and University City, 2300 Market by Breakthrough clients will enjoy the proximity to top-quality housing, restaurants, bars, retail, and mass transit.”

Designed to accommodate a wide range of research uses with highly flexible lab zones, 2300 Market will also house amenities such as a café and lounge; fitness center; and elevated terraces. What’s more, the location is also easily accessible via mass transit through SEPTA bus, trolley, and commuter rail lines — as well as Amtrak connections to New York City, Boston, and the Washington metropolitan area — via the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, which is located just a few steps away.

“Over the past few years, Philadelphia has emerged as a leading research hub for pioneering new modalities in immunology; cell and gene therapy; and mRNA-based technologies, to name a few,” said Dan Belldegrun, Breakthrough Properties CEO. “These advances have opened a new, multi-billion-dollar marketplace for local companies and made Philadelphia a hotspot for next-generation discoveries. This is an exciting moment to commence construction on our 2300 Market development, which will be the most robust lab environment in the region and an ecosystem for cutting-edge companies to scale and collaborate.”

Indeed, Philadelphia and the greater metropolitan region have reportedly been a leader in NIH grant funding for cell and gene therapy. In fact, it ranks among the top 10 U.S. metros for life sciences and, last year, Philadelphia stood out for its life sciences real estate pipeline: New developments under construction — along with projects in the planning and prospective stages — totaled almost 5.4 million square feet and ranked among the largest life sciences space pipelines in the U.S.

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