Bristol-Meyers Squibb (BMS) is no longer the owner of its Hopewell campus after selling the property to real estate firm Lincoln Equities Group.
Lincoln Equities Group (LEG) announced the acquisition of the property on June 22. The firm will continue the effort of attracting pharmaceutical investment in leasing portions of the Hopewell campus, which is a multi-purpose research and development manufacturing campus.
According to LEG, brokerage firm JLL is tasked with marketing the campus to life sciences companies.
“Given the current public health crisis, we anticipate pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers to consider ‘reshoring’ and expanding operations in the U.S.,” said Joel Bergstein, president of LEG. “This spacious, modern BMS campus – located in the center of ‘Einstein’s Alley’ in Central New Jersey – is a prime location for continued innovation and expansion.”
While BMS still owned the property, one the first tenants to ink a leasing deal to the property was PTC Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company. Officials signed a long-term lease in 2019 for about 185,000 sq. ft. of space, which included an existing state-of-the-art biological production facility, and supporting research and operations buildings on the BMS campus.
The property covers 433 acres, 200 of which are dedicated to preserved farmland and open space on Pennington-Rocky Hill Road in Hopewell Township.
The site features 35 acres of additional development opportunity and can expand to approximately 2.8 million square feet, according to LEG.
“This campus presents an opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand for pharmaceutical-grade lab space both locally and nationally,” said Ira Weidhorn, co-head of H.I.G. Realty Partners. “We look forward to building around the strong in-place anchor tenancy of PTC and leveraging H.I.G.’s real estate expertise and bio-health experience to enhance the execution of the value-add business plan.”
H.I.G. is a capital partner with the current property project. According to LEG, they will manage the property through its Life Sciences division, a team dedicated to expanding and managing the company’s life sciences portfolio.
Bristol-Meyers Squibb officials notified township officials and residents in 2016 about the decision of wanting to sell the property after closing the Hopewell campus site.
“We are really happy that LEG saw value in this property which we know is special and are thrilled that the BMS site has been bought,” Mayor Kristin McLaughlin said. “The first step in the process was BMS leasing some of the space to PTC Therapeutics which we were excited about, since then the next step was to get the property purchased so BMS could leave and another set of people would be actively looking to bring more companies to the site.”
McLaughlin added that what stood out to her in LEG’s announcement was that firm would actively be looking for pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers for the property as the industry looks to expand operations in the United States due to supply chains issues oversees with the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are looking forward to talking with LEG more and if the township can be of any help to talk about our community we would be thrilled to make that happen,” she said.
Back in 2019, township officials amended the land use ordinance, allowing this property to be subdivided with multiple owners.
According to the township, LEG’s property currently represents about 6% of Hopewell Township’s tax base, which accounts for $6 million annually in tax revenue.