Thor Equities Buys Life Science Campus in North Carolina for $20.5M


Thor Equities has closed on the purchase of a 72-acre life science complex in Durham, N.C., for $20.5 million, Commercial Observer has learned. 

The property, known as The Lab at Research Triangle Park, consists of six existing buildings totaling 69,059 square feet, and comes with 300,000 square feet of development rights and approvals for four new structures, according to information from Thor. The six buildings, located at 104 T.W. Alexander Drive, are 98 percent occupied. 

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The Lab is one complex within the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park, a campus within the region known as the Research Triangle, because it is anchored by three North Carolina cities and their associated research universities, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The campus is home to hundreds of pharmaceutical, medical and biotechnology companies, and includes a variety of laboratories, research facilities and manufacturing facilities. Recently, ApiJect, which makes injection devices for vaccines, announced that it would build a 1 million-square-foot facility at Research Triangle Park to manufacture syringes and would employ 650 people, according to the Raleigh News & Observer

“The Raleigh-Durham area can go toe-to-toe with major, coastal life sciences hubs in terms of NIH (National Institute of Health) funding,” Thor Chairman Joseph Sitt said in a statement. “Thor is proud to be entering this innovative, notable life sciences market with a modern, flexible property that gives us plenty of upside potential.”

Thor’s purchase, by its Thor Sciences division, is part of the company’s ongoing focus on life sciences. The company recently closed on a New Jersey property leased to Celgene for $27.1 million, its third in the state since 2019. CBRE’s Lee Clyburn brokered the sale and will oversee the leasing. 

The life sciences sector is currently one of the few real estate sectors sustaining rapid growth, as the pandemic underscored the importance of what was already an ascendant sector before it began. Those pre-pandemic dynamics have combined with new demand for research, therapeutics and vaccinations to fight COVID-19 to create healthy growth.