MaRS selects Alexandria Real Estate Equities to expand the MaRS Centre in the Discovery District of Toronto
Ontario Premier McGuinty lauds strategic alliance between MaRS and pre-eminent life science property specialist — project to enhance, broaden MaRS to create Canada’s premier science and technology cluster
Toronto, June 26, 2007 – MaRS announced today that it has selected Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), North America’s pre-eminent, first-in-class and largest life science property specialist, as the development partner for an iconic new building which will anchor the city’s biomedical corridor in the Discovery District of Toronto. To be developed on a prominent street corner in Toronto at University Avenue and College Street, the building is adjacent to the seat of the provincial government, cultural and financial districts, and world-class academic and clinical research institutions. In this exceptional location, Alexandria will apply its renowned expertise in developing clusters, including its proprietary programmatic elements, to strengthen Toronto’s growing life science and technology cluster centered in the Discovery District. The influence and impact of MaRS on the local community, greater Ontario and Canada will grow exponentially through the strategic alliance with Alexandria.
The planned class A, high rise advanced technology building will add up to approximately 900,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office, laboratory, technology and related space to the existing MaRS infrastructure and will include an extension of the soaring atrium at MaRS – a prized location for arts, science and internationally acclaimed collaboration events since its opening in late 2005. The building will offer Alexandria’s unique range of state-of-the-art facilities and proprietary products and services designed to foster the continued development of the broad and diverse life science and technology sectors. This multi-occupancy building will include highly flexible and adaptable space for both emerging and more established companies and institutions spanning the life science and technology domains. Plans call for a direct connection to the subway and a showpiece “front room” as the gateway to the city’s Discovery District. Construction is anticipated to commence during the second half of 2007.
“MaRS is our gateway to innovation in Ontario, our calling card to the world as a leading example of innovation,” said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. “Our government is committed to research and innovation. Ontario’s ability to innovate, to be first out of the gate with a new idea, and our ability to turn ideas into products will make Ontario a leader in the 21st century global economy.”
“This is a special day for life on MaRS!” said Dr. John Evans, MaRS Founder and Chair. “The private-public partnership to promote commercialization of discoveries launched seven years ago is now in operation as a dynamic network based on co-location and convergence of business, science and venture capital. As North America’s leading developer of science buildings, Alexandria’s commitment is a powerful validation of the MaRS Vision. On behalf of the MaRS Board, I wish to thank all those who made possible MaRS Phase I and Alexandria for moving us to Phase II.”
“MaRS is an outstanding facility and this expansion will have lasting benefits for people here in the GTA and across Canada,” said Jim Flaherty, Canada’s Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). “Our government understands the far-reaching implications of science and technology discoveries and applications, and the endless possibilities they provide: greater educational and professional opportunities, greater prosperity for individuals and families, and healthier communities.”
Alexandria, with its global reach and unparalleled reputation, is especially well positioned to enhance the vision of MaRS to create powerful networks that will meaningfully connect the leadership of Canada’s scientific, business, investment and cultural communities to their international peers.
“We are honored and truly pleased to have been selected by MaRS to build upon and extend its groundbreaking vision for integration, innovation and collaboration,” commented Alexandria’s President, James H. Richardson. “This vision is complementary with Alexandria’s cluster development formula combining rich, deep science and talent with broad capital resources in premier locations. There are very few locations that have the concentration of world-class research and engines for innovation that are resident within such immediate proximity. Anchored by the University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children, University Health Network, Mount Sinai Hospital, The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and many other prestigious institutions and commercial enterprises, Toronto is establishing itself as a real force and important international hub in the life science and technology sectors. We look forward to working alongside this community in an effort to further build MaRS’ and Ontario’s presence on the international stage.”
Joel S. Marcus, Chief Executive Officer of Alexandria, noted: “Alexandria continues to expand its business internationally and our strategic alliance with MaRS marks further globalization of the company’s business model. At Alexandria we have leveraged our expertise to successfully develop and pioneer life science clusters in numerous markets around the world, applying our strategy of building in communities that possess prestigious academic and medical institutions, a skilled workforce and a strong financial community. Toronto is no exception in this regard and we look forward to expanding on the current infrastructure that is in place, bringing our experience, proprietary products, services and our deep relationships within the scientific, business and financial communities to help MaRS become Canada’s foremost centre for life science and technology innovation.”
The Phase II development will build on MaRS’ growing success stimulating and harnessing the commercial potential of science and technology innovation – in life sciences, advanced information and communications technologies, clean technologies, and materials sciences – that flows from the province’s entrepreneurs, universities, hospitals and research institutes. Designed by Toronto-based Bregman Hamann Architects, the building’s high level of design responds to its critical importance as the gateway to Toronto’s Discovery District and University Avenue corridor with an architectural vocabulary expressive of innovation and engagement. Combining a dynamic application of both reflective and transparent materials, exterior features include vertical glass fins inspired by optical magnetic imaging and nanotechnology that add modern texture while a lattice of terracotta at the podium level pay homage to the MaRS heritage building. In addition to providing state-of-the-art lab and office space, MaRS Phase II will also interact with the public with a “Jewel Box” exhibition space at the corner of University and College, as well as an urban plaza revitalizing University Avenue with a vital streetscape of landscaping, retail and cafés.
“Projects like this one are further evidence of the architectural renaissance that is taking place in Toronto,” said Toronto Mayor David Miller. “But more than that, it’s a display of the trust that companies have in our city as a place to invest and bring high quality knowledge-based jobs, which is what makes us North America’s third largest biotech centre.”
MaRS is focused on helping Canada’s scientific and technological innovators turn great ideas into great companies – and supporting those companies as they become global market leaders. Since its inception in 2005, MaRS’ Venture Group – a team of entrepreneurs, investment and business specialists – has worked with more than 200 emerging companies to further their market success across a range of sectors. With more than 65 ten
ant organizations onsite, and a strong network of partners across Ontario, MaRS also offers a suite of educational programs, networking events and symposia designed to improve commercialization outcomes.
“While this new development will double the size of MaRS’ existing space and contribute a signature landmark to the cityscape, this project is about so much more than glass and steel,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, Chief Executive Officer of MaRS. “With a global partner like Alexandria coming to Canada, Phase II marks a new era for MaRS and the region’s technology community on the world stage.”
About Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Landlord and Developer of Choice to the Life Science Industry®, is a publicly-traded real estate investment trust focused principally on the ownership, operation, management, selective redevelopment, development and acquisition of properties for the broad and diverse life science industry. Its properties are designed and improved for lease primarily to institutional (universities and independent not-for-profit institutions), pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, life science product, service and translational medicine entities, as well as governmental agencies.
Rx Communications Group
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.
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MaRS Discovery District