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Insights

I-270 Life Sciences Corridor Remains Top Cluster in the Nation

Increased investment and employment in the life sciences sector has driven life sciences related real estate to new heights, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s new 2022 Q1 Life Sciences Update.

The I-270 Corridor in Suburban Maryland is home to one of the nation’s most critical life sciences clusters driven by the National Institutes of Health, a top education system, and VC funding that has increased four-fold since 2018. 

Coupled with strong capital flows, life sciences companies have increased their footprint in most markets, driving up rents and increasing occupancies. Leasing volume in Suburban Maryland is up year-over-year and priced at a competitive rate of $38.75 per square foot. When accounting for federally owned and leased life sciences operations of the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, the total square footage of life sciences in the I-270 Corridor totals over 25 million square feet.

Nationally, life sciences employment has continued to fare better than the U.S. job market with year-over-year growth up 7.9% and 11.4% in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Since 2011, total U.S. employment growth has averaged 1.0% per year while life sciences employment has increased by 6.6% per year, on average. Since 2001, Suburban Maryland has experienced a 136% increase in life sciences employment, with the employment and talent pool reaching 31,400 current and potential employees.

Investors are continuing to recognize the Suburban Maryland (I-270 Corridor) as an established life sciences market with robust demand along the I-270 corridor throughout several prominent lab clusters. With the continued demand and low vacancy, developers are hungry for land and several conversions throughout Montgomery and Frederick counties are underway.

The I-270 Life Sciences Corridor continues to remain a top cluster in the nation due to strong government and VC funding, a strong workforce, and a market that offers an overall good quality of life.

 

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