Former Dropbox HQ in Mission Bay turned into 750K sf of life sciences labs

New owners rebrand the Exchange on 16th into Icona: Labs at Mission Bay

KKR's Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall with 1800 Owens Street (KKR, RIOS)
KKR's Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall with 1800 Owens Street (KKR, RIOS)

What’s in a name? The former Dropbox headquarters in San Francisco’s Mission Bay has been rebranded as Icona: Labs at Mission Bay.

The 750,000-square-foot office complex at 1800 Owens St. in Mission Bay made the change as it seeks a new base of tenants from the life science sector, the San Francisco Business Times reported.

The four-building complex, once known as The Exchange on 16th, fills an entire block. It includes two 12-story towers, and a pair of six-story buildings. Amenities include Ballast Point brewpub, a rooftop garden and a gym.

Until last year, it had been fully leased by file-sharing company Dropbox, which occupied 90,000 square feet and listed the rest on the sublease market in the wake of the pandemic.

Global investment firm KKR, based in New York, and Boston-based life sciences developer Longfellow Real Estate Partners bought the complex last year from Kilroy Realty Corp. for $1.08 billion.

The price for the development, completed by Kilroy in 2018, came out to or $1,440 per square foot – a record per-foot price for a major commercial deal in San Francisco. It also marked the second-highest price paid for a single property in the city’s history.

The record goes to Boston Properties’ $1.2 billion purchase of the Embarcadero Center in 1998.

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The new owners of the Icona are now leasing more than 406,000 square feet as “lab-capable” space, after agreeing to buy out a portion of Dropbox’s existing lease late last year in exchange for a $32 million termination fee.

A sublease for 133,000 square feet with life sciences company Vir Biotechnology was converted into a direct long-term lease. BridgeBio Pharma has a sublease with DropBox.

Longfellow, which is managing the buildings, said it’s in the process of building out “turnkey labs to accommodate life science tenants of all sizes on a move-in ready basis.” Asking rents were not disclosed.

[San Francisco Business Times] – Dana Bartholomew

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