By Alexandra Loye, Senior Vice President, Healthcare & Life Sciences Services, Colliers
Despite global and domestic market challenges from the pandemic, Phoenix continues to shine amongst its competitive Western cities. With Maricopa County being the fastest-growing county in the U.S., Phoenix offers employers a diverse, educated workforce, business-friendly environment and affordable housing options. Arizona’s economy is booming and experiencing record revenue growth, as well as personal income growth.
From 2019 to 2020, Arizona led the nation (tied with Montana) in the category of highest personal income growth with a 7.1 percent increase. The state is also projected to add 325,000 jobs in the next 12 months.
Phoenix’s life sciences industry has gained significant momentum during the past 12 months, with no slowdown in sight. The Phoenix Biomedical Campus (PBC) in downtown Phoenix is ground zero for life sciences development and tenant activity. The 30-acre campus is currently occupied by Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), OncoMyx Therapeutics, Calviri, Vidium Animal Health, and Exact Sciences, which recently acquired Paradigm Diagnostics and Ashion Analytics. The PBC is the ideal environment when it comes to collaboration and innovation for life sciences tenants. The 227,000-square-foot, Class A, purpose-built life sciences building known as 850 PBC offers a collaborative, activated lab/office facility option. The project was developed by Wexford Science & Technology and completed in December 2020. It has experienced tremendous demand, boasting 90 percent commitment to date. The fifth level of 850 PBC is currently being built out as Wexford Innovation Labs, a move-in-ready, incubator-style lab space that will allow companies to scale in place. Additional PBC phases of private lab space that are in various stages of design and planning total more than 2 million square feet.
Tenant demand has been very active among local life sciences tenants looking to relocate from an office or flex facility into a purpose-built life sciences cluster. The market has also seen strong activity from larger out-of-state tenants eyeing Phoenix for its talent pipeline and friendlier business environment. The Phoenix market has a strong presence of companies focused on genomics research, diagnostics, therapeutics and regenerative medicine, with new tenants looking to collaborate and grow in this dynamic research community.