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Cambridge Is Now a Lab Majority Market

Author: Aaron Jodka

By Aaron Jodka | July 2017

For the first time ever, space in the Cambridge market has tilted in favor of lab usage. The recent completion of 50/60 Binney Street and the conversion of 75 Moulton Street have created 11.7 million SF of lab space in Cambridge, overtaking 11.3 million SF of office space. This transition has been a long time coming, as the image below shows.


Cambridge, a global leader in life science research and development, is home to many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms. Its thriving startup community makes it a hotbed of venture capital spending, while MIT also anchors East Cambridge. Tenants want to be here, and landlords continue to double down on investment, creating even more concentrated ownership in the hands of MIT, Boston Properties, and Alexandria.

Now that the market has tilted to lab, there is no turning back. As my colleague Evan Gallagher noted in his recent Colliers In Focus piece, “Kendall Square’s Explosive Growth,” East Cambridge in particular is expanding both its density and its original footprint. The pipeline is heavily skewed to lab product there as well as farther west around Alewife. Lab is the name of the game in Cambridge, and the second quarter marks the official inventory turning point.


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