A big new project near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters could provide some relief to biotech and life sciences companies searching the city for office and lab space.
Called Dexter Yard, the project is 15 stories with 515,000 square feet of lab and office space and approximately 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The project at 700 Dexter Ave. N. is also being marketed to tech companies.
“South Lake Union is a booming hub for the tech and biotech industries,” said Mike Ruhl, vice president and Seattle market lead for BioMed Realty, which is developing the project. “Dexter Yard represents one of the best and last opportunities for innovative companies that want to plug into Seattle’s most sought-after neighborhood.”
Ruhl said BioMed is already talking to tenants and giving equal weight to tech and biotech companies. There are more tech companies out looking for space, but a greater variety of options. Biotech and life sciences represents a smaller market, but Ruhl said only about 2 percent of all life sciences space is vacant in the South Lake Union neighborhood.
The project is scheduled to open toward the end of 2020. Dexter Yard features a big athletic field called the Pitch, which can be reserved by both tenants and community groups.
Seattle has historically struggled to supply affordable office and wet lab space for biotech companies, one reason the city’s biotech industry isn’t as strong as its fire-hot tech sector.
When Amgen acquired Seattle biotech Immunex and vacated its Seattle office, many hoped the waterfront campus would be preserved and turned into more wet lab space for a crop of new startups. Instead, Expedia took over the space and ripped out its lab structures, contributing to the perpetual shortage.
BioMed has been one of few active biotech and life sciences developers in the Seattle area in recent years. Some of its other recent projects include Vue Research Center, which is occupied by Novo Nordisk, Nanostring Technologies and Presage Biosciences; 307 Westlake, home to Seattle Biomedical Research Institute and InBios International; and the Omeros headquarters building.