Boston Construction News- Boston tops San Francisco Bay Area to lead U.S. life-sciences lab construction

Reprinted from Silicon Valley

Boston, with more lab space under construction than anywhere else in the U.S., is poised to surpass the San Francisco Bay Area as the country’s biggest hub for life sciences.

For now, the Boston metropolitan area, including Cambridge, is slightly smaller with about 32 million square feet (3 million square meters) of life-sciences space, compared with almost 34 million in the Bay Area, according to Colliers. But Boston has 62 million square feet under construction or proposed — far more than the 18 million square feet in the West Coast metro, a report by the brokerage shows.

The Boston area, with a talent pool fed by dozens of colleges and universities, is pulling in more venture capital money, bolstering its ecosystem of big pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and biotech startups. To meet demand, landlords are busy converting offices, hotels and retail space into labs, and building projects from the ground up.

Among recent deals, Eli Lilly & Co. said it plans to invest about $700 million to establish a genetic-medicine research center in Boston’s Seaport district. The company is leasing space at a 12-story building being developed by Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., set to be completed in 2024.

“Boston will clearly define itself as the No. 1 hub for biosciences,” said Jeff Myers, a research director for Colliers. “If there is any doubt, the next couple years will clear that doubt away.”