Lab Space: Is the “Top” Choice the Best Choice?

“When it comes to life sciences real estate, Cambridge is still tops,” shouts a recent Boston Business Journal headline. There’s no disputing that the home to MIT and Harvard is a breeding ground for biotech brilliance. You only have to read as far as the first sentence of the article, however, to learn that “tops” also describes rental rates.

“Boston and Cambridge are by far the most expensive life sciences markets to rent lab space in the United States.”

In the spirit of Avis’ iconic “We’re No. 2!” advertising campaign, Cummings Properties is happy not to have the top spot in this category. Although we can’t claim to be the hub of the life sciences universe, we’re proud to have created thriving mini-hubs in Medford, Woburn, and Beverly.

suburban lab space
Cummings Properties’ 8 Cabot Road building in suburban Woburn, MA

With rates typically half to one-third those found in Cambridge, these suburban sites make it possible for early-stage firms to dedicate more of their hard-earned funding to their budding ventures. Many major life sciences firms, too, despite having deeper pockets, appreciate the attractive pricing, along with access to public transportation, free parking, and easier commutes for their staff.

[Related: What to Look for in Lab Space]

History has proved that young companies don’t need to be in Cambridge to get noticed. Consider these headlines from the past few years, announcing the acquisitions of Woburn-based firms by industry giants:

It seems that word of the benefits of moving to the ‘burbs is spreading. In the past year alone, Blue Stream Laboratories, Continuus Pharmaceuticals, Peritia, and Bethcare have traded in their Cambridge leases (and rent payments) for larger spaces at lower rates in Woburn—a mere 15 minutes away.

As urban rates continue to rise, more and more companies are realizing that the road to biotech greatness need not start in Kendall Square. Contact us at (or text 781-983-2211) to learn about available office and lab space at one of Cummings Properties’ suburban locations.