BioLabs, a membership-based co-working lab network based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has selected Dallas as its first location in the Central United States.
The company has signed on for space in Pegasus Park, a 23-acre mixed-use campus that’s being redeveloped along Stemmons Freeway between the Design District and the Medical District. Its new 37,000-square-foot life science co-working facility, scheduled to open next year, will be equipped with shared and private offices and private laboratory space.
Hoping to attract early-stage scientific ventures, the new lab will be strategically located minutes from downtown, in what Pegasus Park developers hope will become Dallas’ new Innovation District.
“Considering current extraordinary challenges in healthcare, the launch of BioLabs at Pegasus Park couldn’t be timelier and more relevant,” said BioLabs Founder and President Johannes Fruehauf. “We have no doubt that our proven business model will foster cross-creativity and collaboration with the region’s premier life science and healthcare innovators in North Texas.”
Once the 23-acre, six-building home to ExxonMobil Oil, the project is undergoing renovations by J. Small Investment, in partnership with Lyda Hill Philanthropies. The 750,000 square foot campus featuring an 18-story office tower will be modernized into a future-focused center for life science innovation, business, and social impact.
“BioLabs is one of the biggest names in the biotech start-up industry,” said Nicole Small, CEO of LH Capital, Inc. and Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “Their presence is a signal of what is to come and will help accelerate our burgeoning North Texas biotech ecosystem.”
BioLabs will join life science ventures Peloton Therapeutics and ZS Pharma, which have already laid the foundation for the Biotech+ Hub at Pegasus Park.
Pegasus Park seeks to keep local entrepreneurs, scientists, and researchers in North Texas, by offering an alternative to the East and West Coast hubs, which most industry players have previously seen as the only options for launching their enterprises, due to the abundance of funding and resources in those locations.
“Re-imagining and transforming a former oil and gas industry campus into a center for innovation and social impact at Pegasus Park exemplifies the spirit that has made Dallas one of the nation’s most dynamic cities, and North Texas an influential region,” said Steve Davis, president of J. Small Investments.
A vital component of the Pegasus Park vision is to establish a national biotech “plus” hub and to push the region toward medical innovation and scientific excellence. The “plus” refers to the multitude of possibilities for bio-innovation across the life sciences, including developing new drugs, diagnostic tools, new tools for disease prevention, and other innovations to promote human health.
With the nation’s fifth-most ethnically diverse population, Dallas offers the ideal demographic makeup for compelling biotech research, as clinical trials conducted here can reflect the diverse populations across the United States.
BIOTECH AND SOCIAL IMPACT HUB
In addition to the biotech space, approximately 150,000 square feet of Pegasus Park will be dedicated to Water Cooler, a nonprofit social impact hub offering flexible office space to philanthropic tenants for collaboration and problem-solving. Five founding tenants have been announced: Commit Partnership, The Dallas Foundation, The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, United to Learn, and Uplift Education.
“The goal of here is to achieve a stronger nonprofit sector and to improve these agencies’ ability to attract and retain talent,” said Margaret Black, director of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “Water Cooler is about providing state-of-the-art facilities to rival corporate campuses with financial incentives, as well as pyramid programming, which we think is going to lead to collaboration and innovation.”
Nonprofit tenants will receive subsidized rent, access to philanthropic funds, and free or low-cost amenities. Black expects the Water Cooler concept to set a precedent as well as elevate philanthropic performance.
“The financial incentive really can’t be underestimated because one of the largest expenses in a nonprofit budget is rent,” said Black. “So, reducing rent while providing amenities allows these organizations to redeploy capital back into their missions.”
Additionally, approximately 550,000 square feet of Pegasus Park’s modern, renovated office space will be available to commercial tenants. The complex will also provide dining, entertainment, and other services to the Stemmons Corridor strip. A local craft brewery, taproom, and beer garden, as well as a restaurant and an onsite café, are planned to open in the new community. Other tenants and community partners will have access to a fitness center and a 16,000-square-foot conference center.