By Joshua Burd
The stock of available life sciences space in New Jersey continues to shrink, despite some headwinds, following strong activity in 2022 and what’s likely to be ongoing demand.
Those are among the findings of a new report by CBRE, which said the vacancy rate for lab and research and development space in the state fell to 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter. That was down from 8.1 percent in the third quarter, thanks in part to deals such as Ascendia’s nearly 60,000-square-foot lease at 661 Route 1 in North Brunswick, the site of the Economic Development Authority’s New Jersey Bioscience Center.
The year-end activity contributed to 97,692 square feet of positive net absorption, or an increase in occupied space, for New Jersey’s life sciences market, CBRE found. The firm added that there is continued demand and a dearth of new quality supply, noting that six major tenants are seeking space in the market with a combined 440,000 square feet in requirements, with no significant new construction underway.
“New Jersey attracts tenants looking for the most advanced lab space in the region,” said Thomas Sullivan, an executive vice president based in CBRE’s East Brunswick office. “Venture capital funding also remained strong throughout the year, reaching nearly $400 million.”
CBRE also found that average asking rents for lab and R&D space in New Jersey’s metro area reached $32 per square foot in Q4, a $4 increase from the previous quarter. That’s last among 13 major markets listed in the report, as it lags in the availability of new, high-end lab space, as average asking rent rates increased nationally to a record $62.16 per square foot.