Chicago is one of the nation’s leaders for employment in the life sciences industry, but startups and research and development firms in this sector may have a difficult time finding lab space as the city boasts the lowest vacancy of any primary market, according to a recent report from CBRE.
While many U.S. industries are navigating fundamental disruption, the life-sciences industry – which includes pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical-device manufacturing – is on a long-term expansion track.
Chicago is primed to benefit from this industry’s growth, as the market has seen strong gains in employment and National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in recent years.
However, as employment and funding have increased, available lab space is difficult to find. Currently, the market boasts a less than two percent vacancy, the lowest of any primary market that CBRE tracks.
“Chicago is well-positioned for future growth in life sciences thanks to its large cluster of pharmaceutical and biotech companies and world-renowned research institutions such as Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, Rosalind Franklin University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, Fermi and Argonne Labs” said Scott Brandwein, executive vice president with CBRE in Chicago. “With existing vacancy extremely low for lab space, there is demand for more product in this market. This now has the government and private sector focused on this need and is beginning to facilitate the expansion with some new projects in the development pipeline.”