No Let-Up In Demand For Lab Space

Life Science Sector Shopping For 3.7M SF

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
November 6, 2016

life-sciLopsided disparities between supply and demand are the story of the Cambridge lab market like never before, with tenant requirements outpacing availabilities more than 20-to-1.

With direct vacancies falling below 1 percent, asking triple-net rents have risen 45 percent over the last two years and topped $71 per square foot at the end of the third quarter, according to JLL research.

Developers from South Boston to Lexington are pitching new and rehabilitated properties as back-up plans to life science companies looking to join the Greater Boston industry cluster that encompasses more than 2,100 companies. But the cachet of a Cambridge address – with its cozy proximity to research universities, venture capital shops and startup accelerators – is worth the wait for many companies, despite the lofty rents.

“Plenty of companies are sticking to their guns and looking for the right space in Cambridge,” said John Coakley, a senior vice president for Boston-based tenant representation brokerage Cresa.

Currently there are over 3.7 million square feet of requirements by life science companies in Greater Boston, according to JLL. Approximately 3 million square feet of requirements are focused on Cambridge alone, said Thomas Andrews, regional market director for Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a major Kendall Square landlord and developer.

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