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Real estate: Investors grab big Berkeley building, eye life science hub

BERKELEY — An old Berkeley factory that’s been revamped as a mixed-use development will be transformed again: Its new owners seek to turn it into a hub for life sciences firms.

Oxford Properties Group and City Center Realty Partners have teamed up to buy Foundry31, the former factory located at 3100 San Pablo Ave.

The building totals 402,700 square feet and the new owners intend to soon convert 100,000 square feet into life sciences offices and laboratory spaces.

“Substantially growing our life sciences business represents one of our highest conviction investment strategies and top priorities at Oxford,” said Chad Remis, an executive vice president with Oxford Properties.

Oxford Properties and City Center Realty paid $173 million for the building, a long structure bounded by San Pablo Avenue, 67th Street, Folger Street, and the Emeryville Greenway.

“Our decade of involvement in this community speaks to our commitment to helping shape the East Bay for a bright economic future and a place that people want to live and work,” said Sig Anderson, City Center Realty co-founder and chief executive officer.

Once known as The Marchant Building, the building was a site where calculating machines were manufactured. An affiliate of LBA Realty sold the building.

The old factory will now have a decidedly new mission under the new ownership group.

“The supply of high-quality life sciences space is limited,” Remis said.

The new owners believe they can quickly address that lack of specialized space.

“The acquisition of Foundry31 presents us with a unique opportunity to immediately convert 100,000 square feet to help provide the critical lab infrastructure required that allows innovative biotech firms to deliver the life-changing therapeutics of tomorrow,” Remis said.

Foundry31, a mixed-use development totaling 402,700 square feet, located at 3100 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. //
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