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Life Sciences on the Rise – Sale of the Watson & Crick Hill Park

The Cushman & Wakefield Capital Markets team exclusively advised on the disposal of the Watson & Crick Hill park; an unrivalled science park located within the Louvain-la-Neuve Scientific Park in the south of Brussels. 

Watson & Crick Hill park

Watson & Crick Hill hosts 6 buildings providing a variety of surfaces, including offices, laboratories, clean rooms and polyvalent spaces. The existing buildings offer a total area of roughly 28,000 sq m and the park has a further development opportunity of no less than 22,000 sq m. Unlike a traditional business park, the Louvain-la-Neuve Scientific Park selects and hosts primarily innovative companies – varying from start-ups to MNCs – that carry out activities relating to R&D, high-tech production or other scientific endeavours. 

The park was originally the main production site of the Eli Lilly and was repositioned into a R&D park. Our Capital Markets team sold the asset in 2016 to a private investor who further developed the site and generated a true campus feeling thanks to convenient infrastructure, brand-new equipment and creating a greener environment. 5 years later, Cushman & Wakefield was again entrusted for the sale of this unique science park.

Life Science

The global life sciences industry has been on the rise, growing more rapidly than ever over the past decade—well before the pandemic struck. In fact, its trajectory only accelerated throughout 2020 and into early 2021—with demand for its products surging and access to capital continuing to greatly expand in both periods. All of this capital and research driving growth of the life sciences industry is having a significant impact on commercial real estate across the country where this sector has taken root.

Key Takeaways:
  • Despite its size, Belgium is a key life-science cluster in Europe as nearly every large pharma group is present on its territory
  • The global and Belgian life sciences industry have been on the rise, growing more rapidly than ever over the past decade stimulated by capital injections from both private and public organisations
  • Life sciences is a good alternative asset category for investors since this sector is appearing to be recession-proof and ultimately a good hedge against the home-working trend
  • COVID-19 has further cemented the strength of the life sciences industry and its rapid development with new technologies opening the door to new possibilities
  • There is a clear rise in education levels and the population of researchers and workers in the life science industry in Belgium and Europe

Meet the team

Michael Despiegelaere
Michael Despiegelaere

Head of Capital Markets
Brussels, Belgium


+32 2 546 08 59

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Nigel Beller
Nigel Beller

Capital markets advisor
Brussels, Belgium


+32 2 510 08 05

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