Biotech Firm Doubles HQs Space in Salt Lake City

Recursion has signed for an additional 100,000 square feet at a coveted live-work-play destination in downtown.

The Gateway, Salt Lake City. Image courtesy of Vestar

Vestar has signed Recursion, its tenant of three years at The Gateway mixed-use development in downtown Salt Lake City, to an expanded commitment. The biotech company has inked a new lease agreement with Vestar for an additional 100,000 square feet, effectively doubling its occupancy at the 1.2 million-square-foot property to approximately 200,000 square feet.

Located on 21 acres in downtown’s highly walkable and transit-friendly Rio Grande neighborhood, The Gateway is a sprawling live-work-play destination that first became home to Recursion in 2018, when the firm moved into the redeveloped office and lab space that had once been the site of a Dick’s Sporting Goods store.

“The Gateway has been transforming over the past few years into an innovative mixed-use lifestyle center. When the opportunity arose to add biotech into our office mix, it made sense and we saw it as a perfect fit to layer in the innovative workforce that life science companies provide with our lifestyle-focused center,” Jenny Cushing, vice president of leasing with Vestar, told Commercial Property Executive.


READ ALSO: Life Sciences Real Estate Demand Thrives: CBRE


Recursion, which currently maintains a staff of more than 250 employees at its Gateway headquarters, will use the additional space to expedite the growth of its proprietary biological data set and add several novel research capabilities.

According to an SEC document, the new lease term for the expanded premises is 10 years from the date of rent commencement on the additional space. Recursion is on schedule to take occupancy of the added square footage in the second quarter of 2022. Vestar relied on in-house representation and Mountain West Commercial Real Estate in the lease transaction, while Recursion was represented in-house.

The allure of life sciences

Salt Lake City may not be among the country’s leading life sciences clusters, but it is certainly deepening its concentration in the flourishing industry.

The Gateway Plaza, Salt Lake City. Image courtesy of Vestar

“The Salt Lake City area is a rapidly expanding life sciences hub, with over 70 leading biotechnology and medical device companies residing in Utah,” according to a 2021 report by Cushman & Wakefield.

The city provides approximately 2 million square feet of office/lab space, and that portfolio has a current vacancy rate of 5.5 percent.

Salt Lake’s life sciences profile will soon move higher on the radar with the recent launch of BioHive, a public-private collaboration designed to expand business development in Utah’s healthcare innovation sector.

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