The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is expanding its South Lake Union campus with a notable Seattle landmark.
The Hutch announced Monday that it has signed a 10-year lease for the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building, adding 106,000 square feet to its already sizeable campus and increasing its wet lab space by 15 percent.
“As we work toward our 2025 goal of developing curative approaches for most, if not all, forms of cancer, the Steam Plant’s office and lab facilities so close to our current campus are an ideal addition to Fred Hutch’s physical footprint and overall mission,” Fred Hutch President Dr. Gary Gilliland said in a press release. “With world-class lab space already onsite, the Steam Plant saves us time that a full build-out would otherwise require while providing another base for the critical work our growing team of researchers, faculty and staff do every day.”
The new lease brings the Hutch’s total footprint in Seattle to more than 1.4 million square feet. That’s larger than some of its tech neighbors — Facebook, for example, occupies about 1 million square feet in the city. The Hutch’s campus is more than twice the size of and Google’s new South Lake Union campus, which is under development just down the street.
The Hutch owns the majority of buildings that make up its campus, which was established more than three decades ago. The new space is notable both for its history and for the amount of wet lab space it provides — such workspace is hard to come by in Seattle and is often a limiting factor for growing startups and research organizations.
The Steam Plant building is an icon in Seattle. Its signature smokestacks have become local landmarks as they are clearly visible from Interstate 5. The smokestacks were installed in 1994 when the building was given historic preservation status.
The Hutch said in a press release that the building will be home to “new collaborative research programs” along with existing research teams. Details of which Fred Hutch employees and teams will occupy the building have yet to be decided.
The building, which is owned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, was formerly the Seattle home of biotech company ZymoGenetics. It was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $885 million in 2010 and the company later decided not to renew its current lease, which will end in 2019.
Alexandria specializes in building biotech spaces and is the company behind Juno Therapeutics’ new South Lake Union headquarters, which opened in September.