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Real Estate

Brian Miller
Real Estate Editor
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November 5, 2020

On the Block: Another pandemic winner? Life sciences

You know what kind of job can't be done by Zoom or WebEx or other means of telecommuting? Life sciences — an umbrella term that also encompasses biotech, medical offices and lab space. Regular plain-vanilla office work can be done remotely, as Amazon, Facebook, Boeing and others are discovering during the pandemic. And there may well be permanent shift in office demand even post-vaccine and post-coronavirus. But you can't do lab experiments at home; converting your garage to a clean room for gene editing is bound to fail whenever you need access to the lawn mower or mountain bikes. Also, raccoons.

Thus, national players including BioMed Realty and Alexandria Real Estate Equities are making big investments here in a life sciences hub long anchored by the University of Washington, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and others. Before Amazon colonized South Lake Union, let's remember, Vulcan Real Estate's first big developments there were for life science tenants. The UW's presence has since grown, and Eastlake is also seeing a surge in activity to accommodate more expansion from Fred Hutch and SCCA.

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