Demand for biotech real estate is ‘very strong,” RBJ report finds

Brendan Carroll. Photo taken from RBJ’s website.
Brendan Carroll. Photo taken from RBJ’s website.
Dan Watkins

Demand for biotechnology-related real esate is “very strong” in Greater Boston, according to Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, a commercial real estate advisory firm headquartered in Boston.

Since 2010, about 3.9 million square feet of laboratory space has been taken off the market by the region’s numerous life sciences companies. This quarter, vacancy stands at 10 percent, a level widely considered the benchmark of a strong market, said Richards Barry Joyce, or RBJ. The firm has just published “bioSTATus – Summer 2013”, its semi-annual research report of Greater Boston biotechnology real estate market.

In a statement, Brendan Carroll, RBJ’s senior vice president of research, said: “The 10 percent figure may actually ‘feel’ a bit lower to companies looking for quality laboratory space. Most areas are unable to accommodate tenants in many size ranges, as evidenced by zero vacancy in Class A product in 128 West and 1.6 percent vacancy in Boston. In other words, it’s a very tight 10 percent.”

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RBJ’s press release added: “Cambridge has reasserted its dominant regional position, after seeing the rise of the suburbs as a biotech destination. During the current two-quarter reporting period, Cambridge commanded an impressive 87 percent of all regional demand.”