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Velocis planning life science/lab space conversion in Rockville

The acquisition includes 89,640 square feet of office space across two buildings on 7.45 acres, just west of Interstate 270. (Photo courtesy of CBRE)

Velocis, a Dallas-based private equity real estate manager, acquired the two-building Research Square at 1500 & 1550 Research Blvd. in the Shady Grove submarket of Rockville in a joint venture with Arlington, Virginia-based Altus Realty.

The acquisition includes 89,640 square feet of office space across two buildings on 7.45 acres, just west of Interstate 270. The Shady Grove submarket is the most sought-after biotech cluster within Maryland’s nationally recognized life science market. The traditional office space will be converted to life science and lab space, with construction scheduled to begin in January 2023.

This submarket consistently ranks as one of the top life sciences clusters in the U.S. The region is home to the headquarters of many distinguished national public health research and regulatory agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Pharmacopeia, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to name just a few.

Maryland’s life sciences manufacturing sector expanded at one of the fastest rates nationwide (31%), with research and development (R&D) accounting for roughly two-thirds of total industry employment in the state according to the New Opportunities for Job Creation in Maryland’s Life Sciences Industry report released from The Milken Institute last October. The report further states that Maryland has the world’s largest cell therapy manufacturing facility and leads in global adult stem cell production and vaccine R&D, with 20% of the world’s top influencers in vaccine development operating in the region.

With construction starting in January, international architecture, design and planning firm, Gensler, has started blueprint drawings for the conversion.

Velocis and Altus Realty also partnered in 2018 to acquire Greensboro Park, a two-building 505,085-square-foot office complex at 8180 and 8200 Greensboro Drive in Tysons, Virginia.

Velocis has been active in real estate since 2010 with a total of 50 projects located in Sunbelt markets within Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee as well as the Washington metro area. Velocis is led by a team of five seasoned partners who are directly responsible for the acquisition, asset management and disposition of assets. Velocis partners include Lewis, Fred Hamm, Jim Yoder, Paul Smith and David Seifert.