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South Lake Union, Life Science Mecca

Seattle Neighborhood

South Lake Union is emerging as a recognized life sciences cluster not only nationally but globally. (If you can get the international investors to stop watching cricket and pay attention, that's something special.) That’s why we’re excited to talk about this new life science hub at our The Future of South Lake Union on Nov. 11 at the Grand Hyatt Seattle.


Vulcan Real Estate VP Ada Healey, who will speak at our event, tells us that Seattle ranks among the top 10 biotech clusters in the country and, according to JJL’s 2014 Life Sciences Cluster Report, it’s one of 10 global life sciences markets to watch--the only one in the US. The report cites the city's focus on R&D, its coastal geography, and its urban environment, which is in high demand by the young workforce. Also, the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (both in South Lake Union) are major recipients of NIH research funding.


With South Lake Union getting the Allen Institute for Brain Science (pictured) next year, and the Novo Nordisk expansion, which is under construction, the submarket will see "hundreds more biotech workers" added to the neighborhood, Ada adds. SLU life sciences companies are very focused on R&D, and many are nonprofits that have benefited from funding from the nearby Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ada expects that SLU will continue to mature into a major center for global health research and initiatives.


BioMed Realty senior director of leasing and development Mike Ruhl, who will also speak at the event, notes that South Lake Union has been a core market for BioMed Realty since 2006, and explains that the company has “never been more excited about its future as a hub for life science innovation.” He sees SLU continuing to be an engine of transformative innovation and economic growth because of the sustained demand for space from life science companies either moving into the market or expanding existing operations. (Sign up here!)