MD Anderson plans $668 million lab
Research building to span 600,000 square feet, expand Houston’s life science domination
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is set to build a $668 million laboratory expansion, extending the city’s life science ecosystem.
The new research building, nominally called South Campus Research Building 5, will span 600,000 square feet in the heart of Texas Medical Center, at 1920 Old Spanish Trail. It will stand seven stories high with an additional two levels dedicated to a mechanical penthouse.
It will be the newest addition to MD Anderson’s south campus research environment. Besides state-of-the-art lab space, it will have conference areas, collaboration space and dining amenities, MD Anderson said in a statement.
The plaza will include core labs dedicated to specialized scientific services, while the remaining six floors will be subdivided between wet laboratories, support space and offices. The space will be designed to increase collaboration among researchers across MD Anderson facilities with its centralized location, the statement said.
Design and construction is expected to cost an estimated $389 million before buildout, or about $650 per square foot, according to a filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Construction is expected to begin in September, with completion estimated for the third quarter of 2027. Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects, specializing in academic projects, is designing the building.
The costly development aims to “relocate and co-locate” researchers who are now distributed across aging properties in MD Anderson’s main campus, which has more than a dozen buildings.
The project is funded by a combination of hospital revenue, Tuition Revenue Bond proceeds and Permanent University Fund proceeds. Hospital revenue accounts for $556 million or 83 percent of total costs, while the latter two funds make up the remaining $112 million or 17 percent. Funds from UT Health Science Center at Houston will also be used to finance the shared plaza and pedestrian bridge connecting it to the in-development, multi-use TMC Helix Park.
Upon completion, TMC Helix Park will feature a 521-room hotel, a 350-unit residential tower and almost 1 million square feet of research and collaboration space, providing a central hub for the entire TMC. Houston is currently home to more than 700 life science companies and was ranked as the 13th largest life science market in the United States in a 2022 CBRE industry study.
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