Here come the robots: life sciences firm nearly doubles LIC footprint

Lab robot builder added over 46K sf to Queens lease

Robot arms and 45-18 Court Square (Newmark, iStock)
45-18 Court Square (Newmark, iStock)

Long Island City’s up-and-coming life sciences sector has notched an expanded lease for a growing tenant.

Opentrons, a firm that builds lab robots for biologists, nearly doubled its office space at 45-18 Court Square to just shy of 94,000 square feet, the Commercial Observer reported.

The expansion comes less than a year after Opentrons first set up shop in the LIC building known as Innolabs. The company moved to the facility from Dumbo, Brooklyn last September, signing on to a near 48,000-square-foot space at $85 per square foot.

Opentrons’ initial lease encompassed the building’s second floor. The new terms add 46,179 square feet to that footprint, allowing the robot-maker to take over the building’s entire third floor.

A spokesperson for the building declined to disclose the lease’s asking rent or length to the Observer.

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The recent signing is the latest boost to Long Island City’s standing as a life sciences hub.

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In December, Longfellow Real Estate Partners dropped $95 million, or $475 per square foot, on a majority stake in 43-10 23rd Street, a 200,000-square-foot property the developer plans to transform into a life sciences facility.

CBRE’s life science practice leader John Isaacs told the New York Business Journal last month the Queens neighborhood has emerged as a hotbed for new tenancies. He called the area a “relief valve” with clusters of the sector’s players taking more affordable spaces than the inventory Manhattan has to offer.

[CO] — Suzannah Cavanaugh