A company that rents lab space to life science researchers on a monthly basis is adding a location in Chicago.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based BioLabs leased about 30,000 square feet in Sterling Bay’s life sciences building at 2430 North Halsted Street, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. The new location will be the company’s first in the Midwest.
The deal contributes a different kind of lab space offering to the Chicago market, which has seen significant growth in life sciences.
BioLabs has 10 locations nationwide in life sciences centers such as Boston, central North Carolina and southern California, but the company has been considering Chicago for a few years. Venture capital investments in life sciences companies in Chicago increased by 286 percent over the past year, making the market even more attractive.
Chicago “has extraordinary world-class universities and obviously a strong business community,” BioLabs Chief Business Officer Nina Dudnik told Crain’s. “We see it as a gateway to the Midwest and to be able to have a foothold here.”
BioLabs, which aims to have about 20 tenants in its Lincoln Park office, has a selection process for its tenants. They are often past the initial stages of work in an academic lab, but have not yet received any major funding that would allow them to lease lab space on their own. Most tenants rent from BioLabs for less than two years as the company tries to “lower the barriers to entry and help them succeed fast,” Dudnik said.
The company also provides staff that help manage the labs, handle permitting and help with IT issues.
Before BioLabs opens its Lincoln Park space, the company needs to raise money to build it out. Dudnik said it is “actively engaged in fundraising” with universities, pharmaceutical companies, philanthropic groups and government authorities and she expects the space will be ready for tenants at the end of 2022.
[Crain’s] — Victoria Pruitt