ArrowMark Partners Lends $76M for New Jersey Life Sciences Acquisition

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H.I.G. Realty Partners and Lincoln Equities Group have landed $76 million of acquisition financing for their purchase of a New Jersey life sciences campus, Commercial Observer has learned.

ArrowMark Partners supplied the debt package, which will fund acquisition costs, leasing costs and capital improvements, along with an interest and carry reserve for the Princeton West Innovation Campus (PWIC) in Hopewell, N.J.

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Newmark arranged the transaction. The team was led by Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly, vice chairman and co-heads of the New York debt and structured finance team, along with senior managing directors Nick Scribani and Chris Kramer, as well as associate director Don Pavlov.

“H.I.G. and Lincoln were able to step into an attractive basis, due in part to opaque historical operating statements and a limited investment sales process,” Roeschlaub said in a statement. “The basis, coupled with the significant amount of capital [Bristol Myers Squibb] invested into the space shortly before vacating, gave solace to lenders during underwriting.”

H.I.G. and ArrowMark did not immediately respond to requests for comments on the transaction.

Located at 311 Pennington Rocky Hill Road, the 433-acre PWIC totals 1.11 million square feet across 33 buildings. The property is less than 10 miles from Princeton University and consists of research and development labs, office space and a parking garage. Its amenities include a cafeteria, a fitness center, a child development center, conference areas, and a 9,000-square-foot mansion that was the campus’s original building.

“Activity level and lease-up at the site continues to have strong interest,” said Lincoln President Joel Bergstein. “The strength in the life sciences market and desire for labs and manufacturing continues to strengthen and this financing is part of that strategy.”

The site was the former global R&D headquarters for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) until 2020, when the company consolidated operations and opened a new 650,000-square-foot facility in nearby Lawrenceville, N.J. H.I.G. and Lincoln pre-leased 220,000 square feet to PTC Therapeutics before BMS’s vacancy, and then inked another 62,000 square feet to Passage Bio during the marketing process.

“The exceptional track record and operational experience by the H.I.G. and Lincoln team were imperative in getting lenders comfortable with an asset located in a market with limited data points and a ‘heavy lift’ business plan,” Stolly said in a statement.

Lincoln also owns and operates a 500,000-square-foot, life sciences office and R&D campus at 10 Finderne Avenue in Bridgewater, N.J. H.I.G. Realty Partners is a real estate affiliate of H.I.G. Capital.

Life sciences, of course, has proved downright ebullient during a pandemic that only bolstered demand for research and lab facilities, as well as office space for companies in the sector.