Biotech Firm to Expand in Washington’s Maryland Suburbs

Qiagen is renovating its U.S. headquarters as it accelerates manufacturing of COVID-19 testing products.

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Qiagen North American Holdings has announced plans to renovate and expand its U.S. headquarters and R&D and manufacturing facility in Montgomery County, Md.

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More specifically, Qiagen plans to renovate its 146,000-square-foot facility at 19300 Germantown Road in Germantown, Md., to accommodate expanded production of testing products for COVID-19 and other diseases, as well as lease additional space in the area.

As part of the expansion, the company reportedly has already added around 80 contracted staff and invested more than $7 million in building renovations and equipment, such as clean room construction. Over the next five years, Qiagen is planning to make further investments and add additional jobs to its current tally of more than 300 employees.

The two-building Class A facility was completed in 2001, on a site of about 24.3 acres, according to information provided to Commercial Property Executive by CommercialEdge.

Qiagen North American Holdings is the American division of the Netherlands-based global life sciences company, which focuses on molecular sample and assay technologies.

A Qiagen spokesperson did not reply to Commercial Property Executive’s request for additional information.

Since April, Qiagen has worked with the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine with reagent kits necessary for the institute to accelerate its large-scale COVID-19 testing program.

Big money, tight market

The Washington, D.C.–Baltimore corridor ranks number four among top U.S. life-science clusters, according to an October report from CBRE. In 2019, Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University was the top recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health, at $764 million.

The suburban Maryland submarket totals about 1.8 million square feet of lab space, with an average vacancy of just 2.1 percent. The average asking rent is $31.25, triple net, for currently available space, which is an increase of 8.6 percent over the past 18 months.

Although construction has increased, most of the 430,000 square feet now under way is build-to-suit, and demand is expected to outstrip supply. A 330,000-square-foot speculative lab by Wexford in the University of Maryland’s BioPark in Baltimore is expected to break ground soon, CBRE reports.

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