Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL) is a real estate business so large, they have their own research department. One of the sectors they study is Life Sciences. In addition to North American cluster comparison, they also provide a focused analysis for New Jersey. According to JLL’s analysis half of new FDA drug approvals originated from life sciences companies with a presence in the state in 2017. The pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector comprised nearly one-quarter of the state’s life sciences employment. With news of this level of vitality, you might expect NJ to be expensive. Not so.
The average asking rent for lab space is $20/sf statewide; NNJ $22.15/sf, CNJ $18.90/sf with bargains to be had in Newark, Jersey City and North Brunswick.
For reference: In Manhattan, NYC or Cambridge, MA expect to pay nearly $80/sf; San Diego, San Francisco and Westchester command $50+/sf. Even in Philadelphia expect $30/sf. Suburbs are always less expensive; Brooklyn averages $25.00/sf. As you can see from the graph below, no other cluster offers as much inventory for a modest price.
In other good news, JLL reports that in 2018, New Jersey’s life sciences sector recorded a nearly 5% year-over-year gain. The workforce now includes nearly 80,000 people. The subsectors growing fastest in NJ are biotechnology and generic drug manufacturing.