Greater Boston Laboratory Market at 5.9 Percent Availability

Chase Bourdelaise
Chase Bourdelaise

BOSTON–Greater Boston’s 20-million-square-foot laboratory real estate market closed 2016 with 5.9 percent availability, compared to 4.7 percent at mid-year, according to a research report from Transwestern.

The report, released twice a year, highlights findings in Greater Boston’s biotechnology-related real estate market.

“It’s great to see the laboratory market continuing its long streak of positive results, though there is a related consequence of certain areas being significantly space-constrained,” said Chase Bourdelaise, Northeast director of research. “It’s notable that we have had very tight market conditions for an extended period of time, even as new space is being added to the inventory each year.”

  • The Greater Boston laboratory market availability rate was well below the five-year running average of 9.9 percent.
  • During 2016 the market had 262,000 square feet of “take-up,” a measurement that tracks availability changes when leases are signed, intentions to vacate are announced or users break ground on new projects.
  • This was the seventh consecutive year of positive take-up, totaling 6.4 million square feet during that time.
  • The inventory in Cambridge increased during the past six quarters from 8.9 million square feet to 10.6 million square feet.
  • East Cambridge had 179,000 square feet of take-up in the past quarter, while West Cambridge had no availability and no vacancy for the third straight quarter.
  • Availability in Mid Cambridge closed at 8.4 percent, its highest point since 2015.
  • The City of Boston’s laboratory market is 4.1 million square feet, with 2.5 percent availability, compared to the 5.5-million-square-foot suburban market with 11.3 percent availability.

In addition to “bioSTATus,” Transwestern publishes 11 quarterly research reports: “officeSTATus,” which focuses on Greater Boston’s office market; “indSTATus” on warehouse, manufacturing and flex properties; and individual “marketSTATus” reports on nine crucial office submarkets. In total, the firm produces 46 reports per year, in addition to custom research projects for clients.


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