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Economy

Here Comes the Life Sciences Land Rush

Offices might sit empty, but the Covid-era demand for lab space is strong in many cities. Some building owners are swapping cubicles with centrifuges. 

A technician works at the IndieBio laboratory and co-working space in San Francisco. As the life sciences sector booms, the market for lab space in cities like Boston and the Bay Area has heated up. 

A technician works at the IndieBio laboratory and co-working space in San Francisco. As the life sciences sector booms, the market for lab space in cities like Boston and the Bay Area has heated up. 

Photographer: Cayce Clifford/Bloomberg
Corrected

The office, as we’ve been told many times, is over. As the coronavirus pandemic drags on in the U.S., millions of white-collar workers remain homebound, companies are shedding their HQ spaces, and the viability of downtown business districts — and even whole cities —  is in doubt due to the ongoing economic devastation of Covid-19

But most people who work in the life sciences — pharmaceutical, biotech and other medical research fields — can’t do their jobs from their couches or backyard sheds. For them, the pandemic has helped fuel a real estate scramble.