Skip to main content

As Houston Life Sciences Sector Heats Up, Developers Delivering On Needed Space

Published Jun 07, 2022 by A.J. Mistretta

levit green.jpg

A rendering of Levit Green

Texas A&M TMC.jpg

A rendering of Texas A&M's Innovation Plaza

A life sciences real estate building boom is sweeping the nation, driven by sharp increases in health-related VC funding, promising new therapies from pharmaceutical companies and a shortage of available space, particularly in emerging markets. 

Investment in U.S. life sciences real estate increased 62% in 2021, according to a report from commercial real estate firm CBRE. Investment in the sector has grown by 111% since 2018 and another 10% increase is forecast for 2022, with much of that new investment going to ground-up development. 

Industry watchers are pointing to Houston as one rapidly evolving market where proximity to the world’s largest medical center and a diverse and educated population are fueling interest from established life sciences and biotech companies aiming to grow, just as new startups hatched out of local research institutions look to scale. 

Life sciences/health care led among the local sectors in venture capital funding for four of the last five years and accounted for 26% of all VC funding in the market in 2021. Promising startups and new technology are adding to an already robust market with more than 1,700 life sciences firms, hospitals and research institutions currently operating in the region. Big players such as Abbott, Bayer, Merck and Novartis already have a strong local presence. 

Commercial space for life sciences companies, including lab space, offices and more, has been scarce, but a series of projects near Houston’s core are underway to satisfy growing demand. At the same time, a mounting cohort of companies are looking outside the urban center for affordable space in promising suburban districts like The Woodlands, Pearland, Sugar Land and League City.  

Here’s an updated look at several major projects: 

TMC3

Texas Medical Center is slated to deliver the first phase of its ambitious 37-acre TMC3 collaborative research campus in 2023. The 250,000-square-foot Collaborative Building will include a large-scale research lab, office space, 7,000-square-foot atrium and more. A hotel and conference center, residential and retail space, as well as six additional industry and research buildings are included in the project’s master plan. TMC is working in collaboration with other founding institutions to create the campus centered around a series of parks in the shape of a double helix. The partners include the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Learn more

Levit Green 

Hines is slated to complete the first phase of its 53-acre Levit Green life sciences campus this year. The initial five-story building will create 294,000 square feet of space overlooking a plaza and a manmade lake. In time, Hines and its project partners 2ML Real Estate and Harrison Street hope to create roughly 4 million square feet of development on the site located between Hermann Park and Texas 288. Learn more

Texas A&M Innovation Plaza 

Texas A&M University and its development partners Medistar Corp. and Healthcare Trust of America are well underway on Texas A&M Innovation Plaza, a new five-acre campus within the Texas Medical Center and adjacent to the TMC Transition Station. The project is centered around a common green space will include three towers: EnMed Tower, an 18-story, 280,000-square-foot academic building anchored by the university’s Engineering-Medicine (EnMed) program; Life Tower, a 19-story, student housing building; and the 30-story Horizon Tower, which will include 17 floors of life sciences, dry and wet labs, restaurants, retail, and medical office space atop a 2,600-space parking garage. Horizon Tower is slated for completion in Q1 2024. Learn more
 

Learn more about the life sciences industry in Houston.

Related News

Life Sciences

Cellipont Bioservices to Open Life Sciences Manufacturing Facility in The Woodlands

8/18/22
A California life sciences manufacturing company is expanding to The Woodlands.  San Diego-based Cellipont Bioservices, a cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organization, or CDMO, said this week it will open an 76,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for cell therapies and gene-modified cell therapies.  Cellipont said the facility is slated to open in phases starting in the first half of next year and will include state-of-the-art manufacturing, process development, assay development and testing capabilities.  “Cellipont is excited to move forward with this next stage of our company’s development as a best-in-class cell therapy CDMO,” said Deborah Wild, CEO at Cellipont in a statement. “As our client programs advance through the clinic and toward commercialization, we are working diligently to offer them state-of-the-art facilities and capabilities. This site near Houston is an ideal location to serve clients and patients across all of North America, with two major airports and a strong local workforce.”  Cellipont Chief Operating Officer Mike O’Mara said the expansion offers the company a blank canvas to create the ideal cell therapy facility in a phased approach as its clients grow their programs. Gil Staley, CEO of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, said Cellipont’s dynamic facility will be a “jewel” among the bioscience companies in the community’s Research Forest area. “With healthcare as our largest business sector, Cellipont will undoubtedly enhance the sustainability of our medical hub,” Staley said.  Ann Tanabe, CEO of industry group BioHouston, Inc. said, “We know that the Houston area is a great place for the life sciences industry to take root, so it’s wonderful when a company located in one of the premier biotech hubs – San Diego – recognizes this and chooses Houston as their next strategic location.” This is just the latest economic development announcement for The Woodlands. Last month the Houston Business Journal reported that chemical manufacturing company SI Group Inc. was moving its global headquarters from New York State to the Hughes Landing complex. SI Group, which makes performance additives, active pharmaceutical ingredients and chemical intermediates, plans to move into the new office in the fall, according to the report.  SI Group operates roughly 20 offices and manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and has operations in nine other countries. The company employs approximately 2,000 workers, according to its website.  Learn more about why companies are choosing to relocate to Houston and see details about the region's life sciences sector.   
Read More
Digital Technology

HCC Aims to Help Satisfy Growing Demand for Cybersecurity Professionals with New Center

7/11/22
In the past few years, industries have adjusted to meet the evolving demands of technological capabilities. Concurrently, Houston has seen significant advances in higher education. From Rice announcing the opening of an international campus in Paris to The University of Houston developing a medical school that aims to narrow the region’s primary care provider gap, it’s clear area institutions continue to elevate the quality of Houston’s post-secondary education.  Houston Community College (HCC) is the latest to incorporate groundbreaking technology to create a new cybersecurity center that will help train students pursuing careers in this sector and address the crucial shortage of tech workers. The grand opening of the center took place on June 24 showcasing state-of-the-art equipment such as simulated cyberattacks. “With the opening of the new center, the college is equipping students with the skills needed not only for their careers but also for making a lasting impact on the nation’s security across industries and organizations,” said Dr. Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, president of HCC Southwest and vice chancellor of HCC Workforce Instruction. With 700,000 cybersecurity job openings in the U.S, employers are not able to find enough experts in this field to fill open positions. HCC has more than 500 students enrolled in cybersecurity. Education leaders say the center will directly impact the next generation of thought leaders in technology and help companies obtain a skillset they need both within our city, and well beyond.  “Students who complete an associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity at HCC are landing high-paying jobs right out of the gate,” said Samir Saber, dean of the HCC Digital Information and Technology Center of Excellence. “The center will also benefit the community by providing customized training workshops for businesses and organizations.” For more information, visit HCC. And learn more about workforce development here.   
Read More

Related Events

Economy

State of the Texas Medical Center

The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to join us at the 2022 State of the Texas Medical Center Event featuring William "Bill" McKeon, President & CEO of the Texas Medical Center (TMC).…

Learn More
Learn More