Speaking of corporate additions to Fulton Market, Crain’s Chicago reports:
A Texas developer is making a bold bet on the future of Chicago’s life sciences sector, planning what it hopes will become a major hub for the industry in the city’s hottest corporate neighborhood.
In an ambitious move meant to address a dire shortage of high-quality local lab space, Dallas-based Trammell Crow today announced its vision for Fulton Labs, a 400,000-square-foot life sciences laboratory and office building it wants to build at 400 N. Aberdeen St. in the former meatpacking district.
The project has the potential not only to draw biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to Fulton Market, the gritty-turned-trendy home of corporate giants like Google and McDonald’s, but it may also mark a critical step toward solving a cultivation problem in the city: Homegrown life sciences companies often move to markets like Boston and San Francisco to scale their businesses because they have facilities to help them mature.
The developer, which has two other office projects under construction farther west in Fulton Market, submitted plans in September for a large office and retail building along Kinzie Street between Aberdeen and May streets. That followed more than a year’s work planning Fulton Labs in partnership with Chicago life sciences entrepreneur John Flavin, who will help oversee the design and marketing over the building.
Trammell Crow is rolling the dice on a type of property that most developers have avoided, despite overwhelming demand. Life sciences facilities are expensive to build, requiring special ventilation, electrical and safety systems to accommodate chemical reactions, and extra security to protect highly valuable intellectual property. They’re risky, because what may be suitable for one tenant may require a massive overhaul for a future one after a lease expires.
The 16-story building would be “designed to the highest possible laboratory standards by some of the world’s most respected life sciences architects, lab designers and engineers,” the company said in a statement.
Floors would be column-free and laid out to accommodate lab space as well as offices, and the building would include a slew of amenities such as a rooftop lounge and patio. One floor would be designated as a shared lab and office space to help lure startups.
(click here to continue reading Life sciences labs, offices planned in Fulton Market.)
Fulton Market is already unrecognizable from when I first walked its streets, circa 2000. In another ten years, it will have no resemblance to its former status as a food processing district.
I’m beginning to feel nostalgic for the smell of bleached chicken parts, and dodging the entreaties of sex workers.