News Releases

Fred Hutch leases historic Lake Union Steam Plant building to support expanded research

Scientists and staff expected to occupy 106,000 square feet of office and laboratory space in Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Class A waterfront facility by fall 2019

SEATTLE – JUNE 11, 2018 – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center today announced a 10-year, full-building lease agreement with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE) for 106,000 square feet in the iconic Seattle City Light Lake Union Steam Plant at 1201 Eastlake Avenue East to extend its South Lake Union campus.

Fred Hutch is expected to occupy the new space by fall 2019, once necessary tenant improvements have been completed. An internal steering committee is evaluating which research teams and staff will be located in the new space and is expected to deliver its recommendations to Fred Hutch leadership by the end of August 2018. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“As we work toward our 2025 goal of developing curative approaches for most, if not all, forms of cancer, the Steam Plant’s office and lab facilities so close to our current campus are an ideal addition to Fred Hutch’s physical footprint and overall mission,” said Dr. Gary Gilliland, Fred Hutch president and director. “With world-class lab space already onsite, the Steam Plant saves us time that a full build-out would otherwise require while providing another base for the critical work our growing team of researchers, faculty and staff do every day.”

Overlooking Lake Union, the Steam Plant is widely visible to motorists on Interstate 5 because of its six smokestacks — nonfunctioning replicas installed by ZymoGenetics when the property received historic preservation status in 1994. Since that time, the Steam Plant has been seismically retrofitted and renovated to include 82 modules of lab space, along with facilities for additional shared resources and support programs.

“We are very pleased to expand our long-term partnership with Fred Hutch and to support its continued growth in our Lake Union innovation cluster,” said John Cox, senior vice president and regional market director of Seattle at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. “As the country’s leading owner, operator and developer of life science and technology campuses, we are dedicated to providing Fred Hutch with a first-in-class, historic campus location and collaborative environment to foster its pioneering cancer research and improve patient lives.”

The Hutch plans to raise funds to support this expansion, related equipment priorities and new collaborative research programs based in the Steam Plant space. This campus expansion builds upon the Hutch’s overall leadership as a life sciences incubator. Fred Hutch spinoffs and life sciences pioneers Juno Therapeutics (now a Celgene company), Adaptive Biotechnologies and Nohla Therapeutics are neighbors in the South Lake Union area.

Gilliland said, “We are striving to both efficiently and effectively address the transformative advancements in cancer research and treatment that are underway. Private funding and industry partnerships are essential to bringing lifesaving discoveries from labs to patients over the next decade.”

Having moved its campus to South Lake Union from First Hill nearly three decades ago, the Hutch was one of the first organizations to acquire land and set headquarters in this area, now home to a broad base of technology and life sciences companies.

Eric Blohm of Savills Studley represented Fred Hutch in the Steam Plant lease negotiation.


Mark S. Peterson


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