Novartis Sells Emeryville Campus to BioMed Realty, Announces Lease at EmeryStation West Property

2 mins read

BioMed Realty recently announced the acquisition of the Emeryville Novartis campus for approximately $135 million. BioMed is among the largest life science real estate landlords in the country comprising 200 tenants and 10.6 million square feet in U.S. markets including Boston-Cambridge, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and New York.

According to BioMed, this latest investment allows them to continue capitalizing on the momentum and strong tenant demand in the San Francisco Bay Area life science market and expand its growing East Bay footprint.

Dubbed ‘The Emeryville Center for Innovation,’ the Novartis campus currently consists of a 250,000 square foot, six-story life science office building. The transaction with BioMed also includes adjacent developable land parcels. As part of the transaction, Novartis will enter into a one-year leaseback on the existing building, during which time BioMed Realty will advance redevelopment plans to transform the building into a Class A+, state-of-the-art multi-tenant laboratory and office facility with integrated tenant amenities.

Novartis announces Lease at EmeryStation West Property

Novartis announced last summer that it would be ending its Antibacterial and Antiviral research programs at its Emeryville campus and laying off about 140 employees (about half of its Emeryville campus). They also indicated that they would be selling their Emeryville property.


Novartis announced today that it has signed a lease for its remaining employees at the nearby Wareham EmeryStation West property. The lease includes 78,000 square feet over several floors of the recently completed nine-story property.



“We are very excited to add to our world-class portfolio in the San Francisco Bay Area with the acquisition of a campus that we plan to expand over time,” stated Denis Sullivan, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of BioMed Realty in a statement. Mr. Sullivan added, “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to expand our relationship with the team at Novartis, and appreciate the enthusiastic welcome and support from the leaders and staff at the City of Emeryville. We look forward to delivering a world-class innovation campus at this location.”

“Acquiring, repositioning and expanding the Emeryville Center for Innovation presents a unique opportunity for us,” said Jon Bergschneider, BioMed Realty’s Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer in a statement. “BioMed Realty will attract life science tenants to this established, robust life science market with close proximity to UC Berkeley, a diverse and talented work force, and existing amenities nearby. We look forward to working with the City of Emeryville, the ‘City of Art and Innovation’, to advance the project and expand the life science industry in Emeryville.”

The Chiron PUD has entitlements for a 200 ft. tower in the lot currently used by the Emery Go-Round.

Entitlements Include 200 foot Tall Tower

BioMed will assume ownership of the Novartis owned portion of the former Chiron Life Sciences Center campus, a Planned Unit Development (PUD) that was approved by the City Council in 1995. BioMed Realty has the potential to develop approximately 850,000 square feet of additional laboratory and office space on the campus including entitlements for a 200 foot tower through an existing development agreement.

Any future development would require approval of Final Development Plans by the Planning Commission, and any changes to the approved Chiron PUD would require City Council approval of a revised Preliminary Development Plan upon a recommendation from the Commission.

BioMed representatives have already met with Emeryville staff to discuss the approved Development Agreement (DA) for the Chiron PUD. The Ricardo Legorreta designed building is among a list of ‘significant structures‘ in our city and requires city approval in order to be significantly altered or demolished.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. Glad to see Novartis go. They were terrible, didn’t know what they were doing, had no real scientific plan, didn’t know how to run a top research organization, and mostly sought advice and ideas from consulting firms that also had no idea of what they were doing. Novartis ruined the great work going on at Chiron. I hope the Emeryville Research Campus, which includes some of the old Chiron business, is redeveloped into a place of exciting research like that which used to take place here. The old Shell building and the entire site belongs in the National Register of Historic Places. There have been 2 Nobel Prizes won in Emeryville, important vaccines and diagnostics developed here, and Shell developed epoxy resins and carbon fiber in Emeryville. Let’s get it going here again!

    • Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see any capitalists in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.

      Bye Bye – Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Tesla, Charles Schwab, First Foundation Bank, Digital Realty Trust Data Centers, CBRE Group, StitchFix, Amazing Magnets, ZP Better Together, QuestionPro, SignEasy, Dasan Zhone Solutions.

      Novartis – take your $48 Billion annual revenue and 110,000 worldwide employees and go somewhere nimby!

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