New Lab Space Designed to Attract Biotech Talent and Community Opens at 704 Quince Orchard 

Next Generation Lab Building completes the Gaithersburg Life Sciences Cluster

February 6, 2019

When construction is completed this month, 704 QO will offer ready-to-occupy lab/office spaces for companies of all sizes. What really makes this new building stand out isn’t just the fully customizable individual lab units, but the suite of amenities that are tailored to the specific needs of emerging life science companies in the BioHealth Capital Region and the employees that work for them. 

Developed by South Duvall, a subsidiary of Scheer Partners, this building showcases a sophisticated knowledge and understanding of the life science market and companies in their emerging, as well as established, stages. South Duvall hopes to achieve full occupancy in the next few months. We met with Aaron Gambini, Vice President of Scheer Partners, Inc. to learn the inside scoop on this property. 

Here are FIVE things that make 704 QO stand out:

1 The concept for 704 QO is simple. “We want this space to be a rallying point for the life sciences community,” says Gambini. To achieve this, South Duvall has created lab space with amenities that are employee-friendly and aid in the retention of hard-to-find talent in this competitive biotech market. They’ve housed all of these amenities in a building that is designed to meet the private needs of biomedical companies while encouraging tenant interactions and a sense of community. The result is a very attractive work environment that helps companies recruit and retain the best employees.

2 This building was selected because it was one of the last existing office buildings within the immediate Gaithersburg Life Science Cluster that had not been converted to lab space. The area was in desperate need of readily-available lab space. By building several labs on spec, South Duvall had labs immediately available for occupancy for the first several tenants, with additional space in the works.

3 Lab-friendly amenities include an autoclave, glass wash station, sink, and ice maker for use by all of the tenants. They even have an onsite self-service supply store managed by VWR. It will stock lab supplies and disposables such as gloves, goggles, and pipettes to make sure tenants have everything they need at their fingertips. Tenants will use a card to swipe their way into the store, then pay for their purchases via a phone app.

704 QO features an open design for the kitchen and tenant common area

4 Tenant-friendly amenities include an industrial refrigerator filled with yogurts, waters, and other treats for the tenants’ employees. The coffee/tea station has baskets of chips and fresh fruit. A cold-brew coffee station – chosen by current tenants after a taste testing event – is also located in this kitchen area. Vintage Pacman machines and a shuffleboard table stand ready for some action. There is also a small lounge for those who need a bit of space, as well as a fitness center with showers. All of these are free for the tenants’ employees and guests. 

5 Various meeting spaces is available for use by tenants and other industry organizations seeking a place to meet. This positions 704 QO as a community hub to host programs, meetings, and other events of interest on a regular basis. These private rooms have ample seating with tables that can be arranged in a variety of configurations. There is a large screen with a connection to a laptop for presentations. In this new building, South Duval has filled a void for life science-oriented community space that is needed in the county.

Other plans for 704 QO include new signage and a patio area with benches and tables to be installed along the front of the building. Another exit from 270 (now under construction at West Watkins Mill) will ease commuting woes. And, a concierge will be on hand to facilitate reservations for the meeting rooms, as well as for other events.

Matt Brady, Sr Vice President at Scheer Partners, shared some insight that supports this real estate development philosophy in a recent LinkedIn article titled, ‘Facilities as a Recruiting Tool for Talent in the Next Generation Lab Market.’ “To ensure Maryland life science companies can recruit and retain the best and brightest employees, there will be an emphasis on their facilities as a draw and differentiator,” shared Brady. “High finish levels, in-building comforts and entertainment to offer employees, access to exterior amenities and transit, prestigious address, etc. will all come into play in this next generation of the market.”

The vision for 704 QO goes beyond a community hub, a tenant-friendly, or an employee-friendly building. With amenities selected to aid in the retention of hard-to-find talent, space that makes it feasible for smaller organizations to have their own facility, and a schedule of speakers and activities that will be attractive to those in the life sciences sector, 704 QO is designed to engage the professional community while serving as a model for other life science buildings in the BioHealth Capital Region.

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Gina Hagler

Gina Hagler

Freelance BioTech, Health-Tech, Sci-Tech Writer
Gina Hagler is a freelance writer covering BioTech, Health-Tec, and Sci-Tech. She enjoys making complex subjects simple yet accurate. Ms. Hagler has written several science-related books, blogged for Bitter SciTech and The Food Rush, and studied science writing at Johns Hopkins University.

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