Commercial Observer Highlights Graymark Capital + BAM Creative Lab Space Conversion

MetLife provided $42 million for the acquisition and conversion
By Greg Cornfield


Read the article below, or click here to read on Commercial Observer.

Out with the old office, in with the new lab space.

Graymark Capital has acquired a 98,800-square-foot office in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and is set to convert it into a speculative life sciences campus thanks to a $42 million loan from MetLife, records show. CBRE announced the $17.8 million property sale and the interest-only, nonrecourse loan for conversion and development, but did not disclose the name of the lender.

“Thousand Oaks is the heartbeat of life sciences in Los Angeles,” CBRE’s Michael Longo said in a statement. “The property sits at the entrance to the market and offers an ideal lab conversion due to its high-quality construction and campus layout, in a market with almost zero available space.”

The existing two-story office building was the headquarters for Wellpoint Health Networks. It was completed in 1998 on 6.7 acres at 120 South Via Merida Way in the Conejo Valley along Highway 101.

CBRE said the building’s infrastructure is well suited for lab redevelopment, with 50,000-square-foot floor plates, steel frame construction and ample power supply. BAM Creative designed the conversion plan that will feature 60 percent lab-ready space with upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing capabilities, as well as 40 percent newly built creative office support space.

Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles, is home to more than 30 life sciences companies, including Amgen’s headquarters. Greater L.A. has emerged as one of the top secondary life sciences clusters in the nation with 28 companies actively seeking space at the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, according to CBRE. The market recorded 950,000 square feet of demand for lab and research & development space, with 681,170 square feet under construction.

“Thousand Oaks is the heartbeat of life sciences in Los Angeles,” CBRE’s Michael Longo said in a statement. “The property sits at the entrance to the market and offers an ideal lab conversion due to its high-quality construction and campus layout, in a market with almost zero available space.”

Longo, along with CBRE’s Sean Sullivan and Todd Tydlaska, closed the deal. CBRE’s Greg Grant facilitated financing.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at


The existing two-story office building was completed in 1998 on 6.7 acres at 120 South Via Merida Way.

BAM Creative designed the conversion plan that will feature 60 percent lab-ready space with upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing capabilities, as well as 40 percent newly built creative office support space.

BAM @ Greater LA Life Science Forum

BizFed Institute and Biocom California

1st Annual Greater LA Life Science Forum

Click here for more information about the event!
The Greater Los Angeles region has the potential to be the premiere global life science hub. However, the industry is at a crucial tipping point. BizFed Institute (BFI) and Biocom California convened leadership from the business community and policy makers to educate all key stakeholders on the importance of the life science industry and its large multiplier effect on our local workforce and economy.


BAM Principal Brian Spence, AIA, LEED AP was a featured panelist alongside thought leaders from Biocom California, HATCHspaces, Kosmont Companies, and Cushman & Wakefield.

Pictured, left to right: Moderator Shaun Stiles, Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield; Felicia Williams, Senior Vice President, Kosmont Companies; Brian Spence, Architect and Founding Principal, BAM Creative; Allan Glass, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, HATCHspaces; Melanie Cohn, Senior Director of Regional Policy & Government Affairs, Biocom California.

HATCHspaces + BAM Creative

Two of the panel speakers, Allan Glass of HATCHspaces and Brian Spence, AIA, LEED AP of BAM Creative collaborated on HATCHlabs Life Science Facility. The Mayor of Los Angeles recognizes HATCHlabs as the “first biotech wet lab co-working facility” in Los Angeles.

HATCHspaces and BAM Creative have continued their partnership on multiple other life science facilities throughout California.

Mural Panoramic: Photography © HATCHspaces | Photography © Nirav Solanki Photography

BAM Holiday Party

BAM Holiday Party

BAM Creative holiday party at Prudential Lighting!
A huge thank you to Prudential Lighting for hosting the BAM Creative holiday party across coasts! Your team was welcoming, gracious, it was a joy to celebrate in your beautiful showrooms and learn about your inspired lighting.

New York
30 West 24th Street
Seventh Floor
New York, NY 10010
(646) 522-5550

Los Angeles
453 South Spring Street
Suite 408
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 465-4334


President of IFMA NYC: BAM Principal Dan Castner

Dan Castner

BAM is excited to announce that, effective July 1, 2021, Dan Castner will be the new president of IFMA NYC.

To celebrate this achievement, we're taking a look back at Dan's journey with IFMA that led to this exciting honor:

2013: Dan joins IFMA as a new member, and makes a splash with a summer wine tasting fundraiser. The tasting drew double the expected attendance, and was so successful it became an annual event on the IFMA NYC calendar. The same model was shared with other chapters across the country.

2014: Helping to lead their fundraising efforts since joining the previous year, Dan joins IFMA NYC as the chapter presents a $20,000 donation to the IFMA Foundation.

2015: Dan wins the Distinguished Associate Member Award at the 2015 IFMA Awards for Excellence, acknowledging his “outstanding leadership within the organization at an international level.”

2017: Dan becomes IFMA Programs Chair and joins a series of IFMA panels.

2019: Dan begins his role as vice president of the IFMA NYC chapter. To foster collaboration between local chapters, Dan pioneers a joint event between the IFMA NYC and IFMA Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapters.

2020: Dan began his role as acting president-elect of the IFMA NYC Chapter. He officially became president-elect on July 1, 2020.

On July 1, 2021, Dan will be the chapter president of IFMA NYC and looks forward to leading the chapter into the future with diversity and collaboration.

Congratulations, Dan!

WCA and Westchester County's Office of Economic Development Highlight BAM

WCA and Westchester County's Office of Economic Development Highlight BAM

"...[Robert Martin Company] is plan-ready, so we have an office lab design provided by BAM Creative, one of the top, national firms in this category. [BAM] works with Regeneron, they work with Acorda, major hospitals in the area, and we ensure that those plans reflect a post-COVID work lab space requirement."

-Larry Gottlieb, Robert Martin Company

Westchester County Association (WCA) and Westchester County's Office of Economic Development recently hosted the All Access Healthcare: Spotlight on Westchester's Bioscience Ecosystem webinar. During the event, speaker Larry Gottlieb of Robert Martin Company discussed how BAM and Robert Martin Company have collaborated on the design of technically complex projects:

“…[Robert Martin Company] is plan-ready, so we have an office lab design provided by BAM Creative, one of the top, national firms in this category. [BAM] works with Regeneron, they work with Acorda, major hospitals in the area, and we ensure that those plans reflect a post-COVID work lab space requirement.” (22:30) “The approach we’ve taken is a strategic approach to get design ready, so we use BAM Creative, an expert in the industry, to say, ‘Okay, let’s look at the space we have, and if need be, how quickly could we convert that to lab space?’ Now, if we had built out the lab space prior to COVID in the way that was originally designed, it would have been a foolish mistake.” (1:01:58) Larry discussed how instead of the original design, Robert Martin Company and BAM are in continual dialogue during COVID about how to update the design with adaptability for the post-pandemic world.

Larry shared a thought that echoes BAM’s general design approach: “Flexibility is the key and that’s why I’m a strong proponent of working with the individual companies and saying, ‘What do you need? Let’s build the right space for what your needs are and make it flexible enough so you can grow over time.'”

Thank you, Larry and Robert Martin Company, as the BAM team truly values the collaboration and similar priorities—designing a space that is tailored to the people using it while also thinking of future growth. See the recap and learn more about this webinar event here and watch the entire webinar in the video above.

Queens Defenders Community Initiative for Justice

Queens Defenders Community Initiative for Justice

Our society is in need of reformation and healing. BAM is incredibly proud that one of our clients is a key part of initiating necessary change.

We offer our congratulations to our client Queens Defenders on launching a pioneering justice initiative in the Far Rockaway community. The program was unveiled at an engaging press conference on May 28th with community representatives including the District Attorney’s Office, government officials including members of the New York City Council, New York State Senate and Assembly, and key community leaders.

The initiative is praised for its pro-active approach to restorative and rehabilitative remedies to local crime. The plan will strengthen relationships between the residents, local police, and the borough’s criminal justice system. Directly from the conference, “The Rockaway Community Justice Center…is going to offer community-led legal hearings to address low-level misdemeanor cases, housing court mediation, juvenile crimes, as well as other social programming. Here, the residents of the Rockaways will have access to fair, equitable, and restorative justice in their own community by their own community peers.”

In addition to legal counsel and the community justice center, Queens Defenders has also setup an outreach center that serves both youth and adults in the community through school tutoring, innovative youth justice court, a young adult leaders mentoring program, and provide housing and immigration assistance. During COVID-19, Queens Defenders has provided direct emergency food and supplies every week to community members who are in need.

To get involved, make a donation or learn more about other community offerings, visit the Queens Defenders website.

We welcome you to view the press conference in its entirety below:

BAM + CoreNet: Working in Gray Space

BAM + CoreNet: Working in Gray Space

BAM Principal Ross Cole moderated an engaging panel exploring how real estate strategies are impacted by Gray Space trends. Gray Space is non-traditional ways people work in unconventional places. The panel was held on August 3rd in collaboration with the CoreNet Technology Committee.

Ross was joined on the panel by Robert Balder, Executive Director at Cornell University, Gonzalo Cruz, an urban designer, and Eric Stride, a security technologist. The CoreNet panel yielded helpful takeaways on the transition to Gray Space work and how this will affect the future office.

  1. Quest to spur industry disruption.  Companies are taking space in shared offices specifically to encourage “speed to innovation” that comes from combining a diversity of people. The blending of varied departments is shown to result in faster industry game-changers than the silo world of working.  To encourage this frictionless collaboration, Cornell University intentionally commissioned a building to house multiple specialties. In past years, academic programs were more likely to be found in separate buildings.
  2. Hardware is becoming worthless. Technological advancements mean the work is no longer about the hardware.  Instead of relying on a computer or phone, many see the future in virtual desktops. The virtual desktop contains all an employee’s files and can be called up on any device, anywhere. It’s more secure than storing data on a mobile device and improves working agility. Today, workers are asking for USB charging stations in parks and meeting places. Instead of carrying laptops or USB drives, gathering spaces of the future may build devices directly into the environment. This will allow people to have screens to work on whether they meet in a bar, a Starbucks, or even a park.
  3. Hacking using old technology – eyes and ears.  While the value of the hardware is becoming less important, the sharing of information in public environments is becoming more common and therefore more of a security concern.   Sharing information in Gray Spaces means the information could be taken, creating issues for the companies. Stolen information could result in a variety of problems, including insider trading that lands a company in trouble with the SEC. The public sharing could also cause the theft of intellectual property, impacting the pipeline of an R&D organization.  We haven’t been trained to be conscious of hacking; we just keep clicking “yes” to get WiFi access without ever really considering the implication.  Attention needs to turn to protocols to remind workers to remain aware of their surroundings and use their eyes and ears to be vigilant of the security compromises that may arise when working in Gray Spaces.


Brian Spence Joins Panel of Life Science Facilities Experts

Brian Spence Joins Panel of Life Science Facilities Experts

Brian Spence - ULI LA 2

Brian Spence, founding principal at BAM, has been invited to be an expert panelist on life science facilities by Urban Land Institute (ULI) Los Angeles and the LA Bioscience Hub. The event will focus on the opportunities and hurdles associated with designing for the biosciences.

Join Brian and the other industry leaders as they bring these topics to life through a case study and site tour at the La Kretz Innovation Campus, a hallmark building in clean technology development.

March 29, 2016
5:30 – 8:30pm


La Kretz Innovation Campus
LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
525 South Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, 90013 

Register for this event at ULI Los Angeles.

Thumbnail Headshot Photography © Image Playground Inc. | Nousha Salimi
Post Photography © BAM Creative

BAM Featured in Ten Great Entrepreneurial Places to Work

BAM Featured in Ten Great Entrepreneurial Places to Work

It’s official, BAM is a great place to work! New York Enterprise Report named BAM as one of the top ten entrepreneurial places to work in its July 2012 issue.
Read the article below.