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Insights from Colliers In Focus Live: Life Science

Author: Aaron Jodka

By Aaron Jodka  | FEBRUARY 2020

At the Colliers In Focus Live “Main Stage” event held at Big Night Live, Executive Vice President Evan Gallagher, sharing his insights into the white-hot life science market, used Foundation Medicine as a case in point.

400 Summer Street

He noted the strength of the life science market in 2019 and predicted that 2020 will be even stronger, thanks to the more than five million SF of active tenants in the market. Foundation Medicine started out as a small occupier, in only 10,000 SF, growing over time, until it signed a massive 580,000 SF lease with WS Development in Seaport Square in 2019.

Evan presenting

Colliers’ life science team, deeply entrenched in the life science community, learns first-hand about breakthrough ideas on a weekly basis, he noted. Numerous groups have raised more than twice as much venture capital as Foundation and are primed to be the next Foundation Medicine, in terms of size, scope, and impact on the Greater Boston market, he added.

With so much demand, finding space is a challenge. New clusters are emerging, and Boston’s Seaport is well positioned to become Kendall 2.0. Today’s lab market is about two million SF; tomorrow’s — space either in permitting or development — totals four million SF. As this cluster expands, Gallagher said, its growth could envelop the Seaport, potentially adding five million SF of future development for a total of 11 million SF in the Seaport, roughly the size of Kendall Square today. much venture capital as Foundation and are primed to be the next Foundation Medicine, in terms of size, scope, and impact on the Greater Boston market, he added.

Future of Seaport

But the Seaport will not be the only growth cluster here. Increasing lab rents are spurring significant new development across Greater Boston. Markets emerging today such as Somerville, Allston/Brighton, Fenway/LMA, and Bedford will be established by 2024, with Newton and Burlington joining the fray as emerging clusters.

Gallagher concluded on a note of optimism: Robust demand, massive supply in permitting and development, and tenants finally accepting other clusters will make 2020 a very exciting year for life science real estate in Boston.

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