Success Stories

Isis Pharmaceuticals

Carlsbad, CA
Cresa Capital Markets
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Client Objectives

Isis Pharmaceuticals is a promising, young pharmaceutical development company experiencing strong growth. The expiration on the company's lease for its corporate headquarters was nearing and Isis desired to move into a new facility that would reflect the company's culture, allow for continued growth, and provide an efficient mix of office as well as highly-specialized lab space for pharmaceutical drug development and testing. The Cresa San Diego office successfully located for Isis an ideal land parcel forjust such a build-to-suit corporate headquarters. However, cash is critical to a growing biomedical company such as Isis, so Cresa Capital Markets was asked to help Isis develop their ideal corporate headquarters with a minimal outlay of cash and attractive financing rates despite the company not yet reaching profitability.

  • Identify low-cost financing for development of build-to-suit
  • Minimize cash outlay
  • Maintain long-term control
  • Hedge against inflation risk


Cresa Capital Markets analyzed a variety of leasing, financing and tax-oriented mechanisms and structures before making its recommendation to Isis' board of directors. Cresa used its network of contacts to identify the ideal financing partner that would provide the lowest cost of financing for the build-to-suit, assurance of funding in a volatile financing market, and allow Isis to retain functional control of their new headquarters facility. Favorable terms were negotiated for key lease provisions such as inflation hedges, creative set rent escalations and purchase options at predetermined rates. Cresa Capital Markets worked with Isis and its auditors to insure that the lease qualified for operating lease treatment. Importantly, the pre-negotiated purchase options in the Lease were structured to provide Isis additional flexibility to unwind the Lease should accounting rules change the treatment of the Lease in the future.


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