Chicago developer Sterling Bay said Thursday it is moving forward with the first new construction on its Lincoln Yards site, a 320,000-square-foot building for life sciences companies that need the latest in lab space.
The eight-story building will be along the Chicago River on the southern end of Lincoln Yards. A Sterling Bay spokeswoman said the project will be at the southeast corner of Dominick Street and Concord Place once those streets are extended as part of the development. She said groundbreaking will occur in early 2021.
Sterling Bay was motivated to act by interest in an existing life sciences building it has at 2430 N. Halsted St. A renovation of a building that formerly was part of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the 120,000-square-foot facility is now 50% leased, the developer said.
Its latest lease is with the molecular engineering technology firm Evozyne. The company leased 30,000 square feet and will join the firms Exicure and Vanqua Bio in the building. The deal is “yet another sign that Chicago is an emerging leader in life sciences,” said Andy Gloor, CEO of Sterling Bay.
“The expansion of our operational capacity to 2430 N. Halsted is driven by commercial demand for our data-driven molecular engineering technology,” said Aris Theologis, chief business officer of Evozyne. “We have assembled top life science talent from across the country and look forward to expanding our footprint in Chicago – both in Lincoln Park and at Lincoln Yards – in the years to come.”
The Lincoln Yards building will be designed by the architectural firm Gensler and will include outdoor space along the river and other places where medical researchers can exchange ideas. Sterling Bay said it hopes the design will foster a sense of community for the researchers.
Lincoln Yards is a 55-acre site planned as a mixed-use development to replace old industrial property. It is near wealthy residential areas and has been controversial because the project has been authorized for up to $1.3 billion in public subsidies under tax-increment financing.