Massive Life Science Campus Bringing 6 Million SF to Houston Medical Center

HOUSTON –  (Realty News Report) – Construction has begun on the long-awaited TMC3, a 37-acre, 6 million-SF life sciences campus designed to advance science from the Texas Medical Center to commercialization ventures and achievements in medicine and medical technology.

The TMC3development will be located along Braeswood Boulevard on the southern edge of the 1,300-acre Texas Medical Center where 106,000 people are employed at medical schools and hospitals including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital.

“With more than 100,000 employees, vast intellectual capital and a long-standing patient focus, our capacity for innovation is second to none,” said William McKeon, President & CEO of Texas Medical Center. “The collective power of TMC’s hospitals and academic institutions has accelerated the pace of scientific discovery for years. TMC3 extends our collaboration to Fortune 100 life sciences companies and entrepreneurial ventures. The impact on patients worldwide has the potential to be nothing short of life-changing.”

City leaders hope the TMC3 will elevate Houston as the Third Coast of life science – placing Houston in a league with California and New England in the life sciences universe.

Houston Medical center officials have talked about the TMC3 for years and had projected the groundbreaking would occurred in 2019. But there was a significant re-design of the project and delays ensued. The Gensler architecture firm departed. A different architecture firm was brought in from New England. The earlier ambitious plan for an undulating park, designed by architect James Corner to appear as a double-helix landmark visible from airplanes over Houston, has been simplified now. Corner’s soaring vision of a Helix Park rising 60 feet above ground level was deflated and shelved.

The new plan will offer green space – a chain of parks suggesting a double-helix –  the strands of molecules that form DNA.

The new TMC3 master plan was conceived by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, which has been involved in shaping several of Massachusetts’ life sciences clusters.

Phase One: 950,000 SF of Life Science Research Space

Phase One of the TMC3 campus includes 950,000 SF dedicated to translational research, anchored by a 700,000-SF facility developed by Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners and their strategic partner, Braidwell, a life science-focused investment firm. The 350,000-SF first phase is scheduled to break ground in the fourth quarter. In addition, the initial phase will include a 500-room hotel with over 65,000 SF of conference space, a 350-unit residential tower, over 2,000 parking spaces, and 18.7 acres of public space including six TMC3 Parks.

Phase One, which is backed by $1.8 billion in financing from life science investment and property development teams.

“It is an unprecedented time for life sciences and innovation in the U.S. and Houston has all the factors that are required for explosive growth in this space,” said Steve Purpura, President of Life Science at Beacon Capital Partners. “TMC has done the work necessary to seed innovation, build relationships with the world’s leading life sciences companies and create the infrastructure needed for long-term success.”

In addition to its partnership with Beacon, Braidwell will bring its expertise in making multi-stage life science investments, fueling the growth of companies operating on the TMC3 Campus. Together, TMC, Beacon, and Braidwell will work to “convene a unique ecosystem of capital allocators, fund managers, and other providers of critical resources” alongside the life science institutions working on the campus.

Rendering of TMC3 in Houston. Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects. (Photo: Business Wire)

Architect David Manfredi

In planning TMC3, lead architect David Manfredi drew on years of experience working with Greater Boston’s leading universities, hospitals and life science innovators.

“The result is a Houston campus that reflects the present – and future – needs of the fast-moving life sciences industry,” the TMC said. “A key objective of the plan was to ensure an environment where innovators from healthcare, science, academia, government, and industry could collaborate on new medicines, medical devices, diagnostic and digital health platforms, and treatment solutions. The compelling result is also intended to attract high quality talent to the energy and vitality of an expansive medical city offering multiple opportunities for mentorship and career growth.”

“Rather than create an isolated district, we are creating a hub,” said Manfredi. “It’s the connections between all these places that creates the opportunities for unintended collisions, as well as for formal collaboration. It’s all about enabling the interaction of institutions, industry and startups to speed the discovery of new solutions.”

With landscape design by Mikyoung Kim, TMC3’s defining feature is the Helix Gardens, green space that weaves through the heart of the campus and is open to all. A chain of five public parks, each approximately the size of a football field, the Helix Gardens will offer lush lawns, grassy knolls, abundant tree canopies, curved walking paths, water features, cafés, and a central garden for outdoor events.

The Houston medical center, which has grown beyond the founders’ dreams, is criticized for a lack of green space.

The TMC3 expands on the 60 institutions already onsite at Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world.

“Houston is already fortunate to have such a strong healthcare and higher education ecosystem. The TMC3 project stands to be the cornerstone of our regional life sciences strategy. It will create new jobs, advance innovative medical technologies and healthcare solutions,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “In addition, the TMChelix parks will create a place for the community to gather and continues to expand our amazing park system. Houston will be among the most competitive cities in the country for life sciences businesses.”

TMC3: At A Glance

  • 250,000-SF TMC3Collaborative Building
  • 700,000-SF Industry Research Building
  • 521-room Hotel, 65,000-SF Conference Center
  • 350-unit Residential Tower
  • 6 Future Industry and Institutional Research Buildings
  • Mixed-use building with retail and ample parking
  • 7 acres of public space including six TMC3 Parks

TMC3: Campus Collaborators

  • Beacon Capital Partners
  • Braidwell
  • Elkus Manfredi Architects
  • Majestic Realty
  • Mikyoung Kim
  • Transwestern Development
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Texas A&M University Health Science Center
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A word of hope: Every 20 minutes a baby is born in the Texas Medical Center.

Aug 31, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

Photo credit: Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright 2021

For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up  by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon  

Houston 2020 Ebook version    

File: Massive Life Science Campus Bringing 6 Million SF to Houston Medical Center


File: Massive Life Science Campus. File: Massive Life Science Campus

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