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Method to the life-sciences development madness: Demand exceeding current supply

Boston Real Estate Times reports what's going on around here to cause all those developers to propose life-sciences projects:

Capitalizing on limited available space in the near term, property owners continue to seek and achieve record high rents. ... In East Cambridge, where two ground-up projects are underway with availability, asking rents have climbed 23.9% in the last 24 months. Asking rents in Boston have also reached triple digits, ending the quarter at $100 per sq. ft.

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I live in East Cambridge, and parts of my refrigerator are beginning to resemble a Life Sciences lab. Maybe I should rent it out. It's got to be at least 6 square feet.

Voting closed 38

So what the article is saying.. developers see more money in building lab space that MIGHT get rented over housing.

Keep going, your lab space will be useless if employees are living in New Hampshire & commute every day. It won't last long, and you'll be moving your lab out to Burlington.

Voting closed 23

Not only are life sciences hot right now so anyone with large sums of cash sees a higher return on investment with labs vs office space but since covid hit many companies still haven't returned to their offices so demand for office space has shrunk. I work in the design of lab space industry and this feels like a bubble to me, but we'll see in 2-3 years when all this new lab space comes online what happens. this has been extremely lucrative for anyone involved in the design and construction of labs.

Voting closed 21

I'm with you, we desperately need more affordable housing, but I don't think either ignoring demand for lab space or building it on the hinterlands is the answer.

I think there's a connection between jobs in the city and demand for housing. Cities *should be* the economic centers. The reason cities exist is because of industry and jobs. The reason suburbs exist is to provide housing.

Dorchester, Brighton, Watertown, Brookline used to be bucolic before demand for housing caused them to fill in and become part of the city. And now these densely populated areas are seeing their own industrial centers pop-up as the core becomes saturated and the pressure pushes it outward. This is how cities grow.

Voting closed 22

They'll be living in "quaint, cozy" studios in Bowdoin-Geneva for $5000/month or living with roommates in a "vintage" 3BR in Allston while splitting the $10K/month rent. Chelsea will be the next Somerville and the folks living in those places now are the ones who will be living in New Hampshire or New Bedford (but hey, they can take Commuter Rail!).

Voting closed 21

Gee, it's not like past experience (textiles, leather, high tech) has shown this is a bad idea.

Voting closed 8

Yeah what will all those highly skilled workers with advanced degrees do if people start buying cheaper, more reliable life sciences from Japan?

Voting closed 20

It's always moved onto the next big thing. Yes, there was a rather long gap in the 1900s between the end of the textile (well, in Boston, it was more shoes, no?) industry and the rise of computers, but there wasn't that much of a gap between the effective end of the big computer era here and the Next Big Thing: biotech, um, life sciences, thanks to all those universities we have. And let's not forget financial services - in particular mutual funds - which are still plugging along.

Voting closed 12