Discovery Labs to Develop $500M Coworking Campus in Metro Philadelphia

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA. — The Discovery Labs has unveiled plans for a $500 million healthcare, life sciences and technology coworking campus at the 1 million-square-foot GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Upper West Merion campus and the 640,000-square-foot Innovation at Renaissance Campus. The two campuses, which are located across the street from each other in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia, will be known as The Discovery Labs.

The collaborative lab, office and lifestyle space, will span 1.6 million square feet. The Discovery Labs called the campus the “world’s largest coworking community” in a press release.

“The Discovery Labs is 20 times larger than the average coworking space, and provides the mission critical infrastructure needed to operate healthcare, life sciences and technology-enabled companies,” says Audrey Greenberg, chief financial officer of The Discovery Labs. “The size of each Discovery Labs enables enterprise level companies to work side by side with startup and emerging companies and enjoy the benefits of the coworking phenomenon.”

IQ Connect, Discovery Labs’ 100,000-square-foot incubator project developed in partnership with The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, will sit at the center of the campus. The purpose of IQ Connect is to “bring together researchers, entrepreneurs and product development startups, along with human resources, venture capital, investment banking and other business services to pursue discovery and development of transformative scientific, life sciences, tech-enabled industrial, venture and consumer products,” according to a Discovery Labs press release.

The Discovery Labs will offer open spaces to cultivate a sense of community, featuring coffee shops, a $10 million conference center, video conferencing, a 275-seat auditorium and adjoining meeting and education rooms. The Discovery Labs will also include a 14,000-square-foot fitness center with cardio and weight training equipment, yoga and Pilates classes, as well as tennis and basketball courts, and more than two miles of walking paths. Other features include an outdoor amphitheater, on-site restaurants and complimentary shuttle transportation to train lines.

Design features include ceiling heights of 16 feet, 20-foot-tall penthouse spaces and glass walkways that connect 12 buildings ranging from 50,000 to 125,000 square feet.

Tenants that have already signed leases include Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University, GlaxoSmithKline, Tosoh Biosciences, Crown Castle and MedRisk.

“There’s a surge of life science startups in Pennsylvania, with more than half of these companies staffing fewer than 10 employees,” says Christopher Molineaux, CEO of Life Sciences Pennsylvania. “The coworking lab facilities of Discovery Labs can help support the growth of small business with billions of dollars of infrastructure, so they can spend capital on development of new technologies and lifesaving and life-enhancing products, making lab space affordable to startups of any size. This is exactly the type of facility that can help our entrepreneurs thrive on each other’s energy, wisdom and innovation.”

MLP Ventures, the parent company of The Discovery Labs, acquired the site from GSK in 2018 for $54.1 million. A timeline for completion was not disclosed.

— Alex Tostado

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