Beijing Firm Leases Space for Biotech Manufacturing in Houston

HOUSTON – Sino Biological, a Beijing-based biotech firm, leased 10,000 square feet of commercial lab and office space in Levit Green, the new life sciences district being developed by a Hines partnership near the Texas Medical Center.

The 53-acre mixed-use life science district is under construction near the intersection of Holcombe Boulevard and Highway 288, adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.

Hines, a global real estate investment, development, and property manager founded in Houston in 1957 by Mr. Gerald D. Hines, is developing Levit Green in partnership with 2ML Real Estate Interests and the Chicago-based Harrison Street investment firm.

Sino Biological’s facility at Levit Green is the company’s first US-based manufacturing facility.

Sino is the World’s Leading Provider of Mammalian Cell-Based Recombinant Proteins

Headquartered in Beijing, China with subsidiaries in Suzhou, China; Taizhou, China; Frankfurt, Germany; and Wayne, Pennsylvania and listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange subsidiary ChiNext (SZSE: 301047), Sino Biological is the world’s leading provider of mammalian cell-based recombinant proteins, antibodies and related contract research services.

This new site at Levit Green – referred to as the Center for Bioprocessing (C4B) -will focus on both product manufacture and the implementation of contract research services.

“Levit Green was meticulously designed to provide best-in-class life science space that can accommodate a multitude of uses. Welcoming Sino Biological is a testament to the market need for sophisticated, flexible space that allows diversified firms to perform a variety of research,” said John Mooz, senior managing director. “Sino is an excellent addition to the district’s growing life science ecosystem, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth and success.”

Levit Green’s first phase is slated for completion at the end of this year.

Levit Green is Sino’s first US-based manufacturing facility

Levit Green will further establish its presence in Houston, providing companies, academics, and medical researchers in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center and across the region invaluable access to Sino Biology’s comprehensive offering of bioreagents and CRO services.

“We are extremely excited about our new partnership with the Hines team and our forthcoming laboratories and production facilities at Levit Green. Hines is at the forefront of next-generation laboratory space design and development, and our new site at the Levit Green master-planned district in the heart of Houston’s Texas Medical Center will enable Sino Biological to considerably expand its research services and bioreagent manufacture capabilities into the United States,” stated Dr. Rob Burgess, Chief Business Officer for Sino Biological.

To meet the market’s need for immediate lab-ready space, Hines is also delivering two commercial lab and office turn-key suites, at 11,000 SF and 7,000 SF, which will be ready for occupancy by summer 2023This in-demand laboratory offering will give potential tenants the flexibility to accommodate constantly evolving science needs. The turn-key suites have been designed to an optimal 60%-40% lab-to-office ratio, to accommodate any wet or dry lab R&D use, such as biology, chemistry, and engineering.

“Purpose-built lab space takes significant time and effort to design, develop and deliver. In a market with limited supply, sophisticated, move-in-ready turn-key suites will provide a desirable and much needed product in Houston’s growing life science cluster,” said Mooz.

Building I at Levit Green — a 290,000-SF, five-story building with wet lab and incubator space—is part of the broader nine-building Levit Green masterplan, which will offer a curated mix of research facilities, office, retail, residential, and outdoor amenities. It is equipped with 100 percent redundant emergency power, enhanced structural vibration attenuation, augmented mechanical systems, 33-foot structural bay depths, and floorplates of more than 60,000-SF. Additionally, the building will feature best-in-class amenities that include a 5,800-SF fitness center and outdoor garden, a 7,000-SF conference center, 3,500 SF of café and restaurant space, and ample on-site parking. The ground floor plan is also programmed to accommodate more than 25,000 SF of lab incubator space which will provide entrepreneurs and early-stage life science companies with top-tier, strategically located laboratory and office space.

Building I is slated for completion in late 2022, with Sino Biological’s occupancy anticipated for the third quarter of 2023. JLL represented Levit Green in the lease.

Houston-based Hines operates in 28 countries. It manages a $92.3 billion portfolio of high-performing assets across residential, logistics, retail, office, and mixed-use strategies with 634 properties totaling over 225 million SF.

The Levit Green site sits on the north side of Holcombe near a street called Dixie Drive.

For many years the land was controlled bu The Grocers Supply Co., which was founded in 1923 by Joe Levit. Mr. Levit’s sons grew the company to be the largest independently owned wholesaler of grocery products in the southeast United States and the largest supplier of Hispanic grocery products in the United States. The company entered the retail business by acquiring both Gerland’s Inc. and Fiesta Mart Inc., two Houston supermarket chains. In December 2014, the company sold its wholesale business and the name “Grocers Supply.”

The Grocers Supply Co.. changed its name to 2ML Real Estate Interests, Inc. 2ML has a portfolio of over 5,200,000 SF of warehouses, shopping centers, freestanding supermarkets and office buildings.

Levit Green is near the old Nabisco cookie factory, which was redeveloped for innovation space by the Texas Medical Center. The medical center has over 100,000 employees and thousands of students.


Nov. 21, 2022 Realty News Report Copyright 2022

Images: Courtesy Hines

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