Leases  ·  Retail

BioLife Plasma Services to Open at Harlem’s East River Plaza

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A plasma donation center will open at East River Plaza in Harlem, Commercial Observer has learned.

BioLife Plasma Services signed an 11-year lease for 16,698 square feet on the lower level of the five-story shopping center at 517 East 117th Street, according to landlords Blumenfeld Development Group and Brookfield Properties.

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A spokesperson for Blumenfeld did not disclose the asking rent, but average asking rent for medical office space in Manhattan was $64.09 per square foot in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a report by JLL (JLL).

BioLife is a global plasma collection network owned by Japanese biopharma giant Takeda. The medical chain was founded in 2002 and is currently on a growth spurt in the United States. It opened its 200th donation center in the United States in West Springfield, Mass., last year, the company announced.

The deal is good news for the landlord of the 507,265-square-foot shopping center, which lost one of its anchor tenants last fall when Target announced it was closing its East Harlem location, citing dubious statistics about organized retail theft

David Blumenfeld, principal of the Long Island development firm, spearheaded the $500 million transformation of the former Washburn wire factory along the F.D.R. Drive in the mid-1990s. The plaza spans three blocks between East 116th and East 119th streets, and took more than a decade to complete. 

Big-box retail tenants such as Costco, Target, Best Buy and Marshalls quickly signed on for space when the plaza opened in 2009.

BioLife does not yet have any donation centers in New York, according to a list of locations on its website

JLL’s Trent Dickey arranged the deal for BioLife while Blumenfeld and Brookfield were represented by Lee Block and Amanda Lagowitz of Winick Realty.

Block and Lagowitz did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and Dickey declined to comment.

Abigail Nehring can be reached at anehring@commercialobserver.com.