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Bruce Simon
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Office: (609) 655.5400
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Six Mistakes Tenants Make When Leasing Lab Space

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Leasing the right lab space has a direct impact on the success of your business and it is not as simple as renting other commercial space since there are special requirements that lab activities entail.

Take a look at the six common mistakes in leasing laboratory space that you should avoid:

1) Not working with a real estate agent who has expertise with this specialty

Leasing high-tech lab space is a very different process and your real estate agent needs to be aware of the various factors to consider when he is scouting for the perfect space for your needs. Space that is being used for commercial or retail purpose cannot be re-fitted as a lab space with mere cosmetic changes. Only a broker who has previous experience in scouting and finalizing lab and life science spaces has the understanding and skills to get you what you need. The cost for leasing lab space is structured very differently than other commercial space and an experienced life science broker can advise on whether the pricing is competitive or not.

2) Not planning far enough in advance for needed occupancy date

You may have only a very small window of time between closing down your lab operations at the current location and resuming at the new one. Or you may be about to finalize a contract and need to be in production by a certain date. Making sure that your new lab space is fully ready on the date of occupancy is critical and this is something that you should plan ahead for. Many factors outside your control such as township and building department approval can delay your ability to begin operations in your new facility.

3) Not selecting the right vendors

Choosing vendors who have the capacity to match the business’s move to the lab space and to equip the new lab in line with the company’s needs is important. Failing to do so can result in a half finished lab that cannot be used at all, in which case, you could incur heavy losses.

4) Not selecting a space with future needs in mind

Think about how your lab may be used a few years in the future before signing the lease papers. Plan ahead for additions, upgrades and installation of new equipment and power requirements that may be necessary when your research moves into the next stage.

5) Not selecting well maintained buildings

Setting up your research or production lab in a building that needs extensive repairs or that lacks basic safety features is a great risk. Not only do the typical tasks carried out in a lab require a higher degree of attention to safety and protection, the lack of modern fittings and amenities can impair the success of the work. Fitting out a lab is very costly and you want to be certain your investment is secured with a landlord who shares your level of acceptable building maintenance standards.

6) Not selecting townships that are familiar with the processes in a lab

Lab activities may be subject to special regulatory concerns especially if you will be using equipment or materials that pose a degree of risk to the people in the neighborhood. Taking space on lease in a township where there are several other similar setups is a good move since the officials are more likely to be familiar with regulatory requirements and their previous experience with the necessary paperwork will help complete these processes quickly too.

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