The need for large blocks of permanent life science space is ever-increasing as the deep labor pool in New York City continues to drive growth in the life science industry. While there are more jobs than talent in markets like Cambridge, New York City has a significantly larger supply of individuals with a life science background that are currently working in unrelated fields—more than any other market in the United States.

Building owners are already beginning to realize the opportunity this unbalance presents and have started planning to house larger NYC biotech and pharmaceutical tenants. In these types of situations, lab tenants have a significant amount of leverage in the market, which needs to be harnessed properly. A custom wet lab installation can take anywhere from 9-16 months to build out and the search should begin well in advance of the need. Selecting a best-in-class team of life science real estate consultants, architects and engineers will help drive search and fit-out to a successful completion. If done properly, lab tenants are able to secure high-end, custom-built lab space with a clear path for growth and even extra perks, such as exterior building signage and other branding opportunities. When the discussion shifts to a larger footprint, incentives (both at the state and local government levels) can materially affect the economics of a deal as well.

Partnering with a landlord who is focused on building or enhancing their research/lab portfolio provides another massive benefit to life science end users. As landlords fill their lab space with Life Science tenants, a cluster effect takes place. Being in close proximity to like-minded organizations boosts camaraderie and the exchange of ideas.