In a sign of the times, a life sciences firm and its one-year-old pandemic response lab are moving out to Long Island City.
Opentrons is bringing the lab and another subsidiary, Neochromosome, to 45-18 Court Square West, on a 10-year lease. The asking rent for the 48,000 square feet in the lease was $85 per square foot, according to Crain’s.
While Opentrons is leasing all of the space, its subsidiaries will have dedicated square footage to rely on. The pandemic response lab is taking 13,000 square feet, while Neochromosome and Opentrons will take the other 35,000 square feet.
After departing its headquarters at 20 Jay Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn, the company is expected to move to its new base in Long Island City in early 2022.
The building at 45-18 Court Square West is known as Innolabs, a facility backed by the city’s LifeSci NYC initiative, which dedicates $1 billion to research and lab development. The building encompasses 276,000 square feet, but Opentrons marks the first lease in the space.
The Pandemic Response Lab has been working with the city since its launch in June 2020. The lab processes Covid tests from NYC Health + Hospitals center within 48 hours and sequences variants on behalf of public health officials.
Opentrons is dedicated to building robots for biologists to automate various tasks. Neochromosome is focused on the process of chromosome synthesis.
The life sciences sector is one of the hottest in real estate, able to withstand the office troubles of the pandemic as greater demand and unprecedented funding fostered company growth across the industry. A record $33.1 billion of venture capital funding went towards life science investments in 2020, a record sure to fall after $26.7 billion was spent in the first half of 2021 alone.
[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner