Lendlease continues to bet big on the life sciences industry.
The Sydney-based developer launched in February a $500 million life sciences joint venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge, a Montreal-based global real estate investor. The partnership aims to deliver state-of-the-art labs, offices and manufacturing facilities in high-growth life sciences clusters across the U.S., according to a press release.
Earlier that month, the company appointed Anthony Giuliano to the role of general manager of its life science construction division in the Americas region, according to Lendlease.
But Lendlease and Ivanhoé Cambridge are not the only companies looking to get a piece of the life sciences boom. Industry sources project life sciences construction to climb even higher this year across the board.
Here, Construction Dive talks with Giuliano about the recent joint venture, his new position and opportunities and challenges in the life sciences space.
Editor's note: This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity
CONSTRUCTION DIVE: Unpack this new partnership between Lendlease and Ivanhoé Cambridge. How did this joint venture come together?
ANTHONY GIULIANO: This new investment partnership positions the firms to quickly deliver in-demand space in high-growth life sciences clusters, including Boston, San Francisco and San Diego, with future infusions of equity to grow the portfolio.
The two firms first joined forces in early 2021 to launch the development of 60 Guest Street, a 320,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art life sciences building in Boston's Allston/Brighton neighborhood that is slated to break ground this spring.
Through this initial project, the firms found they had a compatible mix of strengths and development philosophies, including prioritizing ESG and aggressive sustainability goals, which eventually led to the formation of this joint investment platform.
Talk about your new role as general manager of life sciences construction at Lendlease.
Over the past 40 years, Lendlease has operated a dedicated life science business unit that has positioned itself as an industry leader.
I am thrilled about this opportunity to lead a team of experienced construction professionals in our Americas Life Science group, and to continue Lendlease's effort to shape the vibrant and booming life science sector.
I am looking forward to bringing my 30 years of experience working with pharmaceutical and bioscience companies to Lendlease and continuing to deliver safe, sustainable and innovative facilities for our clients who diligently work to support the health of our population.
What are some major projects in the life science construction group in the Americas region?
Lendlease has built partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies that have resulted in over 15 million square feet, totaling more than 1,000 research and development, laboratory, biotechnology and manufacturing facilities across the nation.
Lendlease recently completed [in Andover, Massachusetts] the Pfizer Plasmid DNA — Suites GH project (pictured above), which was a full gut and rebuild of an existing pharmaceutical manufacturing suite. It is now one of the world's largest plasmid DNA production facilities used to support the manufacture of Pfizer's gene therapy and mRNA vaccine portfolio.
Our life science business will continue to transform the market with projects like Merck's B880 FLEx Formulation Center [in Rahway, New Jersey], a multi-product facility designed to support product development and clinical supply execution for both human and animal health.
What are some trends and challenges in life sciences construction in 2022?
The life sciences are fast paced and dynamic. Traditional construction techniques do not align with the pace of industry. Because of this, we have positioned our people to be industry thought leaders.
Lendlease utilizes several disruptive technology and software systems across key projects, using technological innovation, target value delivery, virtual reality, lean, VDC and prefabrication to accelerate and automate traditional design, production and operational processes.
Cutting-edge science evolves rapidly, and facilities are being designed for the unknown. We are currently designing and building a flexible facility to house processes and equipment that has never been invented. Our teams of seasoned experts understand the need to pivot and adapt to our clients' needs as the design progresses and modifications to the work are necessary.
What are some opportunities Lendlease sees in the Americas in the life sciences industry?
Lendlease construction is the cornerstone of our business in the Americas. One opportunity is the growth and expansion of our life science offerings in the Boston, Chicago and the New York tri-state area. These areas will likely continue to be the epicenters for science and technology and have tremendous opportunities for cross-industry collaboration.
To strengthen our position, we see an opportunity to expand our life science client types to be inclusive of healthcare, higher education and science and technology.