There has been a massive surge in the biotechnology industry in and around Boston of late. There is a new trend amongst the corporations in this field in terms of where to locate their large facilities. But why now?
In the past, biomedical firms have been drawn to the less expensive sprawls of land, often in the middle of nowhere where they would construct massive campuses to house their many intelligent minds and laboratories. However, there posed a problem with this strategy as there was no overlapping of ideas or healthy competition from other companies to drive their employees to work harder and achieve more. Now, this isolationism is no longer present.
There is a trade-off at hand because by relocating to the city, there is a great deal of action which, as a result, obviously means greater rent and values of property. In spite of this, the hope is that with other firms and educational institutions nearby there will be increased collaboration and learning from one another. This, therefore, should lead to continued innovation and transformation of their products that these same companies would not realize if they were in their rural locations of the past.
Corporations such as Pfizer Inc. are currently ready to construct a new 180,000 square foot building in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition, Cambridge also will be home to Biogen Idec Inc., which is building a 495,000 square foot facility for their drug making purposes. In Cambridge alone we see some 1.7 million square feet of laboratory space has already broken ground and is due to be completed in the not so distant future. Another large company, Novartis International AG, has made headlines for cutting some 2,000 jobs from their sectors in places in the United States and Europe. Despite this, no job losses are expected to happen in the Greater Boston Area for Novartis. As an alternative, the firm has taken the initiative to build two new buildings and renovate one facility all totalling 550,000 square feet once again in Cambridge.
As a general consensus, the move to cities within the biotech industry has been most prevalent in Boston, New York/New Jersey, and the Bay Area in California. According to the real estate advisory company, Jones Lang LaSalle, this information furthered the notion that although over the past year construction has been down 3% overall, it has increased in the subcategory of manufacturer-owned laboratory construction, which is what biotechnology falls under.
Being in areas rich with business competition and one with world class Universities that consistently produce brilliant minds in the Greater Boston Area is what has made our home so appetizing to the biotech community. In this proud time to be a resident of Boston, we clearly are continuing to diversify and distance ourselves from the many competing cities throughout the country.