The Biotech Revolution is Accelerating Demand for Lab Space

Author Denis Dineen Read bio
Tags: biotechnology laboratory
Date: October 12, 2022

The biotech revolution is booming, and it’s driving demand for lab space to unseen levels of demand. Companies are scrambling to find space to conduct their research, and that’s creating new opportunities for both landlords and developers. If you’re looking to invest in lab space, now is the time to do it. The market is hot, and it’s only going to get hotter. 

What’s Driving This Change?

There are a number of trends driving this demand. First, the biotechnology sector is experiencing rapid growth, thanks to advancements in gene editing and other technologies. This is attracting significant amounts of funding from VCs and deep pocketed investors across the nation, leading to the acceleration of more Life Science startups. Second, the pharmaceutical industry is consolidating,  resulting in larger companies with greater needs for research & development space. The last major component lies within the increasing focus on personalized medicine, which in turn requires more sophisticated laboratory facilities.

Investment capital has been flowing steadily into the life sciences sector in recent years, driving a strong market performance that has been aided by the industry’s adaptability. The life sciences sector has been on an amazing expansion tear for the past few years, with no signs of slowing down. The Bay Area’s tech industry provides a great jumping-off point as it bridges technology and biotech endeavors – the perfect match!

This combination of industry sectors has helped weather various challenges and headwinds, positioning it well for continued success in the years ahead. Many life sciences companies are now focused on developing innovative new treatments and technologies that can make a real difference in people’s lives, and this commitment to innovation is sure to attract even more investment capital in the near future. With strong fundamentals and ample opportunity for growth, the life sciences sector is well positioned for a bright future.

Lab Space is Getting Harder To Find

In an industry that is defined by innovation, life science research remains a high-risk, high-expense proposition – and having the right location strategy is a critical success factor. Rising operating and R&D costs, growing lab rents in top-tier clusters, and competitive wages for top talent are driving life science companies to new real estate strategies. In response, many companies are adopting “cluster” or “hub” models in which they maintain a smaller footprint in a top-tier cluster, while also establishing R&D operations in lower-cost locations. 

This approach allows companies to access the deep talent pools of major life science hubs, while also controlling costs and expanding their geographic reach. As the life science industry continues to evolve, it will be vital for companies to have a flexible and well-designed location strategy that can adapt to changing market conditions.

Conversion Might Be The Answer

The era of life sciences construction has arrived.

Life sciences companies are repurposing space in order to take on surplus office, retail or warehouse units. There was once a hesitation towards repurposing, mostly due to a lack of need,  as well as the prolonged delays associated with obtaining the proper ‘Change of Building Use’  permits. Given the rapid rate of growth in the biotech sector, landlords and developers are now encouraged to transition their properties to meet the life science’s significant real estate requirements, as seen by President Biden’s recent Executive order on Advancing Biotechnology. 

The Bay Area is one of the most innovative regions in the world, and San Francisco is at the heart of this innovation. However, the city is facing a serious scarcity of lab space, which is limiting the ability of startups and research organizations to grow and thrive. One way to address this problem is to convert existing warehouse spaces into labs. These facilities can provide the large, open spaces that are essential for experimentation and testing. In addition, they can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of each tenant.


Now that the shortage of lab space has been recognized, it’s time to think outside-the box. What if developers and landlords could capitalize on this opportunity by providing more innovative ways for researchers, such as overspill or temporary labs with flexible terms in communal areas? Those well positioned enough could also attract tenants by  offering incubator spaces for startups to secure their own facilities later down the road as demand continues to rise.

If you have a vision for converting your warehouse or industrial space into a state-of-the-art laboratory, our team of experts can help make your dream a reality. We have extensive experience in representing clients in all aspects of laboratory design and construction, from concept development to project completion. We will work closely with you to understand your specific needs and requirements, and develop a tailored solution that meets your unique needs. In addition, we have a network of trusted partners who can provide additional support and services as needed.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create a world-class laboratory.