News & Updates

Developer Republic Properties Announces $190 Million “Next Generation” Cell and Gene Therapy Research Production Center in University City, Taps Scheer Partners to Direct Leasing

February 23, 2021
Press Release

Developer Republic Properties Announces $190 Million “Next Generation” Cell and Gene Therapy Research Production Center in University City, Taps Scheer Partners to Direct Leasing

PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 23, 2021) – In less than 36 months, the $190 million Ultra Labs at University City, an 11-story, 185,000 square foot project , will commence commercial operations. Designed to be one of the world’s most advanced cell and gene therapy research, development, and fully engineered cGMP production centers, the developer-leasing team is now reviewing floor plans with leading prospective biotech tenants, according to principal developer Republic Properties Group and Scheer Partners, its exclusive leasing agent. Ultra Labs will be conveniently located within walking distance from the academic and NIH-sponsored centers that are spinning out many of the newest innovations in cell and gene therapy.

Steven A. Grigg, AIA, PE, President and Co-founder of Washington, D.C-based Republic Properties, said the Ultra Labs project “represents a rare and exciting development opportunity to work from a fresh canvas and meet every single need of the world’s leading cell and gene therapy companies in Philadelphia, a global hub for innovation in breakthrough life sciences.” Along with PHL Next State Med LLC, our remarkable investment partner, and our scientific real estate professionals at Scheer, we could not be more energized about the prospect of Ultra Labs at University City setting the new standard for cGMP in the Mid-Atlantic and throughout the world.”

Mr. Grigg, whose firm has collaborated on past projects with Scheer Partners in the Washington-Baltimore market, said, “Scientists and clinicians from leading companies and universities – including those within a short walk from our site just off the renowned campuses of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University – will discover when they review our floor plans dedicated to cGMP manufacturing and advanced biosafety labs that we have been meticulous and uncompromising in this project.”

Tim Conrey, who directs Scheer’s Philadelphia bio-pharma focused team, said preliminary discussions with prospective tenants have been “exhilarating because it’s like their wish list for new construction has been transported into the building’s design with the added benefit of having an exceptional location within a federally Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ). Literally, he said, “from floor to ceiling the developer and its design team have thought of everything best practices requires”, including:

• 14’ - 21’ slab-to-slab clear heights

• 125lb per square foot live load capacity

• Separately piped lab waste system

• Natural gas piping distribution to base building equipment

• Central vacuum, compressed air, and gases

• Hydronic cooling systems; cability to include a backup “pony chiller” for cGMP spaces

• Separate clean / dirty freight elevators

• Two chemical reagent feed pumps

• Interstitial space for additional infrastructure +

• 2,687 SF of clean storage on the first floor

• Backup generator

The site of Ultra Labs at University City is along N. 32nd St. between Powelton St. and Market St., adjacent to SEPTA’s Powelton Rail Yard, overlooking the Schuylkill Expressway, just north of 30th St. Station. The developer last year entered a 90-year ground lease with SEPTA.

About Scheer Partners

Scheer Partners, Inc. is a nationally recognized, highly diversified firm, whose focus includes state-of-the-art research, development and property management, serving the comprehensive “scientific real estate needs” of the rapidly evolving life sciences industry. Founded and headquartered in Maryland, Scheer also has offices in Philadelphia and Boston.

About Republic Properties

Republic Properties Corporation, a division of the Republic Family of Companies along with its affiliates Republic Land Development LLC and Republic Urban Properties LLC, represents a privately owned, full-service real estate investment, management and development enterprise based in Washington, D.C. For over 30 years, Republic and each of its principals have focused on institutional quality real estate, actively managing partnerships and other fiduciary relationships that result in successful real estate investments throughout the United States. Republic’s senior management team has over 150 years of combined experience and has successfully developed and invested in real estate transactions valued in excess of $7 billion.


Claudia Yates / / 301.337.4746

Tim Conrey / / 215.805.5440

Steven A. Grigg /