Martin Selig Real Estate’s Versatile Portfolio Accommodates Seattle’s Abundant Life Science and Biotech Industries

By Martin Selig Real Estate

Seattle has long been a hub for the biotech industry, and Martin Selig Real Estate (MSRE) has grown and optimized its portfolio alongside the sector for more than two decades. While the pandemic accelerated the growth of life sciences in the region — increased testing, numerous effective treatments and three vaccines approved by the CDC — Seattle and MSRE were again poised to grow and shift to accommodate innovation spurred by new challenges and opportunities.  

Market research tells us that investment in life science real estate isn’t a moment, it’s a movement. For instance: 

The Colliers’s Q1 2021 Life Science Report showed venture capital funding for life sciences totaled $45.1 billion in 2020. This represents a four-fold increase over the past 10 years and an increase of $32.6 billion from 2019. Seattle led the list of emerging life science markets with 7.5 million square feet of market inventory. 

The Life Science Washington trade group anticipates Seattle becoming the country’s next biotech hub with an average of at least 80 companies a year expanding their footprints here. Innovation and problem-solving are core parts of Seattle’s identity. In addition to the most notable names in the technology industry, an established base of research and lab facilities —including the University of Washington, recipient of the most medical grants in the country; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research; and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance — has established roots in Seattle’s downtown core. The city’s compact geography and efficient transit systems conveniently place these research facilities and laboratory spaces within minutes of each other, allowing for increased collaboration and mind-sharing, a key requirement for industry success. 

Martin Selig Real Estate has developed a strong reputation for delivering and leasing premier Class A office and laboratory product in Seattle’s central business district. In our 60+-year history, we have leased to a variety of companies, ranging from startups and technology giants to professional services and life science firms, and everything in between. 

TwinStrand, Aptevo Therapeutics, RareCyte and many other life science players, at one time or another, have joined the MSRE family as anchor tenants in our sophisticated, centrally located properties. Our work with these companies has given us insight into the complexities of the industry, helping MSRE to better accommodate their specific building requirements. For example, many biotech companies require generous ceiling heights to allow for advanced ventilation systems. High ceilings are a mainstay feature for many MSRE properties, along with special HVAC and electrical requirements and direct access to large loading docks for a streamlined workflow. 

As one might imagine, designing and constructing workspace conducive to biomedical research is vastly different from outfitting the typical Class A office. Our in-house construction and operations teams work closely with each life science tenant to learn about their individual requirements and long-term vision for the space. The MSRE team has become experts in life science architecture over the years, and we’re well-versed in industry-leading mechanical equipment and ventilation systems — all while keeping pace with the industry growth. This tenant-centric business philosophy helps the MSRE team to better understand how to accommodate companies’ needs when they are looking to expand. 

In addition, many of the buildings MSRE owns and operates offer generous floorplates and the basic requirements for biotech tenants. Thanks to our diverse and flexible portfolio of buildings, MSRE has space available that appeals to both small startup companies — offering strategic ways to grow alongside them — all the way to large enterprises. For example: 

  • Our collection of buildings in the desirable Elliott Park neighborhood — 333 Elliott West, 635 Elliott West and 645 Elliott West — are surrounded by sweeping views of Puget Sound, and are slightly separated from the hustle and bustle of downtown, offering tenants an inspiring and productive work environment. These buildings feature custom floorplates and large windows for maximum daylight, not to mention like-minded tenants as neighbors. 
  • Third and Broad is a striking building situated in charming Belltown. Like 333 Elliott West and 635 / 645 Elliott West, this building offers six floors with the infrastructure for life science tenants to customize their floorplans. 
  • New to the MSRE portfolio is the Federal Reserve Building, in downtown’s Financial District. A stunning property rich in history, this building is an 11-story mix of immaculately preserved neoclassical architecture topped with seven newly built stories of elegance. The Federal Reserve Building was completed in early 2021 and has space available for lease. 

The MSRE Experience begins with our knowledgeable and responsive leasing team. Our real estate experts have decades of experience in the Seattle market, providing personalized attention to companies looking for new commercial space or existing tenants seeking to expand their current footprint within our portfolio. Our in-house construction team works with each tenant on customizing their workspace. No tenant-improvement or life-science requirement is a deterrent for the MSRE team. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for life science investment and development. Experts believe demand for life science space will continue for years as companies conduct additional research on Covid-19 and other potential viruses. In the Puget Sound market, life science vacancies remain low, and will remain so until new buildings are delivered to the market. MSRE has more than 150,000 square feet of tenant-ready life science space available for companies looking to start — or continue — their journey in the Pacific Northwest. 

Contact our leasing team to tour one of our many buildings suited to develop the next innovation in life science at 206-467-7600 or