Instil Bio scraps plans to occupy Tarzana campus, puts it up for sale

Dallas-based biotech paid $37M for site in 2020, then built life science complex

Instil Bio Scraps Plans to Occupy New Tarzana Complex
Instil Bio's Sandeep Laumas with 18408 West Oxnard Street (LinkedIn, Google Maps, Getty)

Instil Bio, a Dallas-based biotech company, has scrapped plans to occupy its own manufacturing facility in the San Fernando Valley, less than three years after buying 5 acres of land for the development. 

The firm, which researches clinical-stage cell therapies to treat cancers, had planned to build and subsequently occupy a 128,000-square-foot development at 18408 West Oxnard Street in Tarzana. 

The development is now up for sale, according to a listing on LoopNet. CBRE, which holds the listing, did not respond to a request for comment. 

Instil Bio is also putting the property up for lease, in case no sale goes through, according to the listing. In January, the firm said it was “evaluating opportunities” for a potential sale or sublease to boost its cash on hand. The listing does not include either an asking sale price or asking lease rate.

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“The recently completed property will be delivered vacant in as-is condition,” CBRE notes in its listing. 

Instil Bio bought the land for $36.8 million in October 2020, property records show. Last year, the firm scored a five-year, $85 million construction loan from Oxford Properties Group, building two manufacturing buildings with adjacent office, lab and warehouse space. 

The decision not to occupy the facility comes after Instil Bio laid off 60 percent of its staff in the U.S., and moved manufacturing and clinical trial operations to the U.K. 

Like other asset classes, demand for life sciences real estate has softened, as employers have pulled back from hiring and shrunk their workforces. 

About 15 percent of all laboratory, research and development space across Los Angeles was vacant in the second quarter, according to CBRE, up from 10 percent in the second quarter of last year.

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