Joel Marcus and John Cunningham

Joel Marcus (left) and John Cunningham (right).


Joel Marcus and John Cunningham

Executive Chairman and Founder; Executive Vice President and Regional Market Director at Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Last year's rank: 42

Joel Marcus and John Cunningham
By May 15, 2023 9:00 AM

Life sciences real estate firm Alexandria saw the highest annual leasing volume in the company’s history in 2021 at 9.5 million square feet. This included its highest-ever quarterly leasing volume, with 4.1 million square feet taken during the fourth quarter, more than double its previous quarterly record.

“In 2021, the life sciences industry was really strong, and Alexandria was well positioned to be a key provider for them,” Executive Vice President John Cunningham said.

Alexandria saw $2.1 billion in total revenue in 2021, a 12 percent annual increase.

A long-term relationship with vaccine manufacturer Moderna resulted in over a million square feet of space being leased to the company, including the largest life sciences lease in Alexandria’s history for Moderna’s 462,000-square-foot headquarters and R&D center in Cambridge, Mass., as well as renewals totaling 684,000 square feet for three separate Moderna locations.

Alexandria notes that this strength has continued into 2022 with 2.5 million square feet leased in the first quarter — its second-highest quarterly total ever. These deals include 426,927 square feet leased to Bristol Myers Squibb for a research hub in San Diego, and 333,929 feet leased to Eli Lilly for the development of Lilly’s Institute for Genetic Medicine in Greater Boston. 

Cunningham said that histories with companies are a big part of Alexandria’s success.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Eli Lilly which began when they were our first tenant at the Center in New York,” said Cunningham, referring to the company’s 741,000-square-foot Alexandria Center for Life Science campus in Manhattan, which will see an additional building of 550,000 square feet over the next few years.

Cunningham said Alexandria put together a last-minute deal for Lilly after a deal for another location withered.

“It’s a great example of the relationships we have with our tenants,” Cunningham said. “We will do anything we can to accommodate them and help them succeed with their mission.”

The first quarter also saw the completion of the company’s sale of its 70 percent interest in 100 Binney Street in Cambridge for $713.2 million.

Alexandria currently has 8 million square feet either under or soon to be under construction that is forecast to generate over $665 million in annual rental revenue beginning during the period from second quarter 2022 to the first quarter 2025.