City encouragement, alongside a booming market, have made life science leases hotter than ever.
But because of the detailed construction work and funds that go into creating wet labs, it's a commitment for owners, says Jonathan Schifrin of CBRE. His team is the leasing agent on both the Hudson Research Center at 619 W. 54th St. in Midtown West and the Taystee Lab Building at 450 W. 126th St. in Harlem.
Among the requirements are additional electricity, back-up generation, plumbing and venting as well as loading areas. Maintaining sterility could mean numerous exchanges of outside air per hour, adds Schifrin.
Due to all the mechanical work, it can take $450 per foot to upgrade and deliver a pre-built lab from raw space. As a comparison, traditional office space can be delivered for around $125 per foot.
Even if the base building already has extra electricity, plumbing and venting installed, it could still cost $250 to $300 per foot to create lab-specific spaces.
That's why renting labs can run into the triple digits, and why the city is supplementing these projects with its land, buildings, grants and tax abatements.
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