Holly Springs notches another win with manufacturing plant


A rendering of Catalyst BioCampus, which promises “up to 446,000 square feet” of additional biomanufacturing, lab, and office space at Oakview Innovation Park in Holly Springs.


Holly Springs is getting another massive life science manufacturing plant.

New York-based global private equity firm Apollo Global Management and its development partner GeneSuites announced plans Thursday for Catalyst BioCampus, promising “up to 446,000 square feet” of additional biomanufacturing, lab and office space in Oakview Innovation Park.

The campus is situated on 25 acres at the intersection of Green Oaks Parkway and Holly Springs New Hill Road, and includes the first phase of Charlotte developer Crescent Communities’ newly completed biomanufacturing complex, formerly called The Yield.

Last month, the group purchased the property, which completed construction in December, as part of a grand scheme to build out its second phase.

The price tag: $40.5 million for two shell-ready buildings — each 105,000 square feet — and a seven-acre parcel for future development, according to Wake County property records.

Providing shell-ready buildings fills a gap in the market, said Gary Schoenhouse, GeneSuites’ chief technical adviser, and allows biopharmaceutical companies more flexibility to accelerate speed to market “by approximately nine to 15 months.”

“The buildings are currently ready for tenant upfit,” he told the N&O.

Once a tiny commuter town on the outskirts of Raleigh, Holly Springs has ballooned into one of the state’s largest hubs for commercial biomanufacturing in recent years.

Catalyst BioCampus is just down the road from another massive biotech investment, Fujifilm Diosynth, which is building a $1.5 billion plant that could employ more than 700 people. Industry giant Amgen also recently broke ground on a $550 million manufacturing facility nearby, while pharmaceutical company Sequirus already has a significant facility in the town.

Catalyst BioCampus aerial rendering.png
A rendering of Catalyst BioCampus, which promises “up to 446,000 square feet” of additional biomanufacturing, lab, and office space at Oakview Innovation Park in Holly Springs. CBRE

Since 2018, over 40% of the $6.4 billion of life sciences manufacturing investment in the Triangle has landed in Holly Springs, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE. It analyses trends and will handle the development’s leasing.

“Holly Springs is designed to accommodate advanced manufacturing in its infrastructure,” Schoenhouse explained about the San Diego-based company’s decision to invest in the fast-growing suburb. “We’re excited to stand alongside some of the largest names in life science to bring a cGMP biomanufacturing campus close to where people want to live and play.”

Apollo and GeneSuites are already proceeding with the project’s second phase. That involves building out mezzanines and installing primary mechanical, electrical and building infrastructure, which can occur concurrent with tenant buildout, Schoenhouse said.

It’s scheduled to be delivered this spring. Plans also call for a third building for process development, lab and office space that will be up to 140,000 square feet and five stories, he said.

The group received no incentives from the town for the project, said Holly Springs economic development director Irena Krstanovic.

“Interest is high, and it’s exactly the kind of growth we want to see in our community,” she said. “Catalyst BioCampus [completes] our portfolio to give every size company a place to call home.”

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Chantal Allam covers real estate for the The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. She writes about commercial and residential real estate, covering everything from deals, expansions and relocations to major trends and events. She previously covered the Triangle technology sector and has been a journalist on three continents.

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