As uncertainty sets in for the future of office work, the Canadian Real Estate Investment Company will transform a The South Lake Union office building is a laboratory for life sciences.
Oxford Property Group earlier this month bought Boren Office Lofts, a 10-story building on Boren Avenue և Virginia Street, for $ 119 million. On Monday, the company announced plans to turn 136,000 square feet of “fully dedicated life science facility” into a laboratory space for “innovators, creators, scientists, etc.”
The company did not disclose the expected tenant building, which is unfinished ներ inside the Cascade և Danny Triangle neighborhood, a few blocks from the Seattle Institute for Child Research. In recent years, the South Lake Union has seen an increasing number of life sciences. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, NanoString Technologies և Celgene, acquired by Seattle’s Juno Therapy, has research facilities in South Lake Union, as do other biotech companies և UW Medicine.
The South Lake Union is “one of the most desirable ecosystems in the life of the country,” said Chad Remis, executive vice president of Oxford, North America. Oxford is part of the Ontario Retirement Plan.
When the epidemic moved thousands of white-collar workers home last year, the demand for Seattle office towers was high, but remained high among research companies.
Nearly 7 million square feet of office space was leased in King, Snohomish-Pierce as of March 24, more than double the size of five years earlier, CoStar reports.
While large companies like Amazon are still looking for office towers, a recent Kidder Mathews report described sales of office buildings in the region as “slow,” with just three deals in the first three months of this year for more than $ 50 million.
The South Lake Union coped with the epidemic a little better than in downtown Seattle. According to Kidder Matthews, about 5% of office space in the South Lake Union was vacant in the first quarter of this year, compared to 13% in Seattle’s central business district.
In South Lake Union, meanwhile, less than 1 percent of the lab was vacant by mid-2020, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE. The company ranks Seattle ninth largest city in terms of life sciences growth.
Not all office space can be transformed quickly. Laboratories may need special airflow, high ceilings for pipeline, backup energy or water.
Seattle office vacancies are likely to continue to rise in the third quarter of this year, before equalizing, said Jeffrey Huntington, broker for Kidder Matthews office.
The transformation of laboratory use for buildings with the necessary infrastructure may continue, but there are signs that large technology companies are “going back to the office to acquire that shared environment,” Huntington said.
Mike Nelson, CEO of Seattle-based Trammell Crow, who built and sold the building, said in a statement: to plan areas. “
Trammell Crow once produced a “modern-style design of the attic” that would “fit the technology firms” ոց others, complementing the penthouse office և with bicycle storage.
“It’s easy to forget about Amazon’s dominance, but the South Lake Union remains a ‘biotech hub,'” said Chris Caggin, senior broker at Seattle-based Savills.
“Biology is a very strong market right now, the owners are going to try to take advantage of the continued growth of that segment,” Kagin said.