Denver Presents Broad Life Sciences Talent Pool & Accessible Office Market

Downtown Denver, courtesy of BG Law LLP.

The life sciences industry is currently experiencing unprecedented demand, which has led to an increased need for top-tier R&D talent, world-class facilities, and a supportive economic environment. 

To better gauge the evolution of the life sciences sector across the United States, CommercialCafe set out to discover which metropolitan areas are best prepared to meet the current industry requirements. 

The study analyzed more than 100 U.S. metros looking at several key indicators, such as innovation, talent pool, and life sciences in the local office market.

The Denver metropolitan area secured the 14th position among the top U.S. metros for life sciences. There are several factors propelling the metro forward in this field, including a highly educated talent pool and a relatively accessible office market.

A more detailed view of the findings:

  • Around 24% of Denver’s residents held at least a bachelor’s degree in life sciences-related fields, placing the metro 10th in the ranking, for this metric. This translated to nearly 513,000 residents, which represented the 15th-largest talent pool among the locations compared. Specifically, the metro is home to 7 institutions that offered programs or majors related to life sciences — just two fewer than what the data showed for San Francisco.
  • Denver was home to 2,765 life sciences establishments, placing it 14th for this metric among the locations compared. 
  • Notably, the metro witnessed a 37% increase in the number of life sciences establishments from 2018 through 2022 — the 17th-largest among the metros we analyzed.
  • On average, the asking rate for office space in Denver was around $30 per square foot in Q4 2023, which was almost half the price in New York City or in San Francisco.
  • More than 1 million square feet of office space in Denver was dedicated to life sciences, representing a little less than 1% of the local office market.

Life sciences industry outlook nationwide:

  • Life sciences establishments experienced double-digit percentage increase across half of the office markets we included in our study from 2018 through 2022. Notably, more than 30 locations surpassed the 1,000 mark in the number of life sciences establishments.
  • Our analysis revealed that, by the start of 2024, 20 metropolitan areas had more than 1 million square feet of office space dedicated to use in life sciences, among the locations we examined.
  • In terms of future market expansion plans, 28 out of the 102 metropolitan areas we analyzed had life sciences projects under development or in the planning phase at the close of last year.

Take a look at the complete methodology:

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