West Conshohocken’s Keystone Development + Investment secures $265.2M loan to expand the life science conversion of The Curtis in Philadelphia

West Conshohocken-based developer Keystone Development + Investment announced this week that it has secured a $265.2 million loan from Nuveen Real Estate, an affiliate of Teachers Insurance & Annuity Associates of America (TIAA), to expand its life science conversion of the landmark former publishing house The Curtis in Philadelphia. The conversion will help create the infrastructure needed to meet the surging demand for lab space in Center City.

According to the announcements, a portion of the funding will be allocated towards infrastructure upgrades and leasing costs at The Curtis. The proceeds of Nuveen’s loans are intended to provide sufficient capital to enable Keystone to convert the next 200,000 square feet of space at The Curtis to cGMP and research laboratories over the next several years.

Keystone purchased the 12-floor, 912,245-square-foot building—that once housed Curtis Publishing—in 2014. Revitalization efforts completed thus far include the ground-floor streetscape and building atrium, the conversion of existing office space to luxury residential units, and the conversion of former printing press space to wet lab space for life science companies like IMVAX, Vivodyne, and Aro Biotherapeutics.

BioLabs, which provides flexible biotech lab space and services, selected The Curtis for their 53,000-square foot Philadelphia incubator and graduate suites facility, which offers emerging life science companies turnkey support and a full growth pipeline in one location.

“We’re excited to give promising biotech startups a chance to start, grow, and stay in one building, embedded in a rich life sciences community,” said Melina Blees, PhD, site director of BioLabs Philadelphia. “Top biotech companies aren’t just looking for this year’s solution—they’re thinking two to five years out, into the clinic and beyond. We’re proud to offer top emerging biotech companies a full growth plan in one beautiful, highly resourced and connected location.”

The Curtis has the physical features and design specifications imperative for life sciences companies urgently seeking space, including 15’+ ceiling heights and 200 lbs/psf vibration-resistant floors, multiple fresh air intakes, dual power supply, dedicated laboratory backup emergency power, multiple loading dock bays and freight elevators, and numerous venting chases. Additional amenities include a tenant meeting