Lab space for medical research is a beaker of hope in the city's wilted real estate market. 
 
Demand for life sciences space in the city--which houses 60% of the country's pharmaceutical industry--is flourishing amid the pandemic, with funding and deal flow continuing well into the second quarter, according to a CBRE report.
 
At the Alexandria Center for Life Science, a sprawling, 728,000-square- foot campus by the East River in Kips Bay, things have been busy. Alexandria leased nearly 20,000 square feet in April to BlueRock Therapeutics, a billion-dollar cell therapy company that was purchased by Bayer in August. 
 
Alexandria's second startup incubator project, LaunchLabs, is still expected to open in the summer at Columbia University in Upper Manhattan. The original LaunchLabs is on Alexandria's main campus.
 
Lab tenants also have shown strong interest in building other research space, such as the Taystee Lab building, a 350,000-square-foot project in West Harlem, which broke ground in May 2019, and the Hudson Research Center, which will offer 150,000 square feet of space upon completion. Some floors in the complex are available immediately. 
 
Although much of the 800,000 to 900,000 square feet of laboratory space demanded by tenants was before the pandemic, there has been a surge in response to the pandemic itself, the report said.  
 
The construction has increased alongside the steady stream of venture capital funding flowing into the industry, which has already reached $286 million--it's second-highest year-to-date level on record. Funding from the National Institutes of Health is expected to break another annual record by reaching $2.2 billion by year's end. It already had reached $833 million through May 18.
 
Read more in Crain's New York