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Life Sciences: Life sciences: The very definition of “hot”

High demand, low vacancies and rising rents are fueling investment, development, repurposing and other trends in this sizzling sector

By Erin E. Porter

Editor’s note: At HREI™, we’ve always believed that the best way to succeed in any business is to listen to the marketplace. So after taking note of the growing chorus of voices expressing keen interest in life sciences real estate – including several members of our own Editorial Advisory Board, we recently made a strategic decision to expand our coverage of that sector in our print magazine, weekly e-newsletter and website. In addition, later this spring, we will be launching Bioscience Real Estate Insights™ (BREI™), a dedicated, monthly e-newsletter. Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the current state of the market for this sizzling sector.

One of the first heathcare real estate firms to expand into life sciences was Healthpeak Inc. Among other projects, the firm is developing the two-building, roughly 343,000 square foot Vantage project in South San Francsico. (Rendering courtesy of Healthpeak)

What does it take to be “hot”? We hear the word tossed about in popular culture, referencing the latest trendy individual, couple, restaurant, destination, company, technology – and yes, real estate sector – whereby whoever, wherever or whatever is deemed “hot” is infused with such desirable and attractive qualities to deserve the distinction, even for just a short while.

But when it comes to life science real estate (LSRE), also known as bioscience real estate, the sector’s hotness quotient seems to have staying power for more than just a quarter or two. When it comes to bio, it seems as if everybody’s talking about it, investing in it, developing it, repurposing it, seeking it, following it, desiring it, doing it and reading about it. (Yes, I am talking to you.)

Several venerable healthcare real estate (HRE) firms have added LSRE real estate experts to their teams in the past two to three years, and quietly (or not so quietly) added the term “life sciences” to the name of their company or business unit.

Ardent HREI readers know this well, we have been compelled to report on the LSRE space with increasing frequency, especially in the past few months. And one doesn’t need to dig too deeply into one’s stack of HREI print magazines or scroll very far through our digital archives to see the evidence: LSRE is indeed “smoking hot.”

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