New 16-Story Life Sciences Hub to Bolster Burgeoning Chicago Hub

Chicago

new life sciences facility is coming to Chicago that will add more than 500,000 square feet of laboratory, office and research and development space. Construction on the new project is expected to begin later this year.

On Monday, real estate firm Mark Goodman & Associates announced the closing of an acquisition of a 1.5-acre space in the city’s Fulton Market neighborhood that will become the site of a new 16-story life sciences facility. The new building will suit multiple life sciences industry segments, including biopharma, medtech, agroscience and more. Goodman & Associates said the new site will be the “first purpose-built lab and research and development building in Chicago designed to specifically accommodate the rapidly growing life sciences and biotechnology industry.”

In addition to space for the companies, the 16-story building will also offer multiple perks. One of the key highlights will be 123 underground parking spaces. Also, the building will include a fitness center and a café on the ground floor. The site will also feature a pedestrian throughway that will connect multiple streets.

When construction begins, the designs for the building have been specifically catered to the criteria needed by life sciences companies. 

“From the layout of the floorplates and the flow of traffic from the loading dock to the elevator, to the slab-to-slab ceiling heights and the depth of the windows to the core, every detail was carefully considered to best meet the distinctive needs of the industry,” the Goodman team said in its announcement.

Mark Goodman expects the addition of this new life sciences building to bolster the city’s position as a leading biopharma hub in the United States. He said the site at 400 N. Elizabeth St. will be designed for and by scientists in order to instigate best-in-class innovation. 

“Because the industry is experiencing record-breaking highs in funding and job growth, the demand for new construction life sciences lab and office space that is customized for the end-user is unparalleled,” Goodman said in a brief statement.

Although Chicago is one of the nation’s largest cities, its growth as a biopharma hub has suffered due to a lack of wet lab space. The Goodman building will undoubtedly address that shortage and help keep some companies that spin out of the university systems within the area. 

The planned construction is only the latest development in the efforts to turn Chicago into a leading hub. In 2020, Chicago-based real estate investment group Sterling Bay developed a new life sciences facility dubbed The Labs in order to provide that needed wet lab space. Before the opening of The Labs, there had not been any new wet labs space built in the city since 2012. Also, there was an expansion of wet lab space at Fulton Labs and Portal InnovationsThe site is designed as a platform of startups in the life sciences, as well as medical technology and bioinformatics. 

Last year, the Chicago region ranked tenth in the nation as a biotech hub, according to Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. The region, which includes collar communities surrounding Chicago, received $1.234 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health. The area saw less than $1 billion in VC funding. At the same time, 1,755 patents were awarded.

In addition to real estate investments, other efforts to boost the city’s position include establishing an innovation fund to support scientists aiming to turn research into a beneficial product and establishing a fellows program that will help entrepreneurs. 

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