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Alexandria Real Estate Equities Commits Bigtime to Pasadena, Plans to Build Downtown Headquarters

Published on Monday, July 18, 2016 | 5:18 am

Pasadena-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. has announced plans to build a home base office on a lot it has recently acquired for $17.5 million, next to its downtown Pasadena headquarters.

Alexandria founder and CEO Joel Marcus said the new home base would boost the company’s primary focus of recruiting and retaining the best people especially with Pasadena being an ideal place for that purpose.

“The company has grown from a $19 million startup to a $12 billion New York Stock Exchange company, so obviously we need to grow space for our people and we certainly want to take account of the future,” Marcus said. “Millennials will be 70 percent of the workforce in the next 10 years, so we needed to make sure we’ve got the right very functional and very inspiring space.”

Marcus said the company also considered the new home base’s proximity to Caltech which has proven to be a “great institution for scientific discoveries.”

“I think Pasadena is a great place to live, it’s affordable and certainly the surrounding areas provide a 24/7 environment,” Marcus continued. “You can live there, raise a family, have a great education, a great social life… it’s a great place to be.”

Marcus also indicated the decision to build a fresh campus in Pasadena instead of buying an existing property is indicative of a commitment to the city, where Alexandria was founded in a garage in 1994.

A report on the LA Biz Journal said Alexandria wants to incorporate modern design elements such as glass and bricks, collaborative workplaces, and retailers like healthy food eateries into 70,000 to 80,000 square feet of office space. It will be about double the size of its current office where it leases 46,000 square feet. Marcus wants work on the new home base by 2019, says the LA Biz Journal.

Sean Westgate and Matthew Miller at Cresa Partners represented Alexandria in the deal. The seller was MS Property Company, also based in Pasadena.

Alexandria specializes in building offices for technology and bioscience companies, holding 190 properties in North America with a focus on the Bay Area, Seattle, New York, and Boston markets. Among its latest tenants include Uber Technologies Inc. and mobile payments company Stripe Inc. in San Francisco, plus pharmaceutical companies Genyzme Corp., owned by Sanofi, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in Cambridge, Mass.

According to the LA Biz Journal, the company has also recently announced the opening of Alexandria LaunchLabs in New York, a 15,000-square-foot incubator space inside the Alexandria Center for Life Science designed to accommodate medical and pharmaceutical startups.

Los Angeles has a smaller biotech roster compared with those hubs. But Marcus said Alexandria’s Pasadena headquarters office benefits the company. He says they have been able to recruit a talented workforce, with little turnover, because of the location.

To learn more about Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., visit

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