Business Class: $60M research park project could mean more lab space for Madison’s biotech sector

An increasing number of Madison companies, many at University Research Park, are searching for a local space to innovate and expand beyond their current quarters.

A nearly 10-story, 147,000-square-foot building called Element Labs may be able to provide that space come January 2024. The lab recently broke ground near the corner of Mineral Point Road and Whitney Way on the West Side.

The $60 million structure is part of a larger Park project known as the “Element Collective.” That multiphase venture, born of a desire to urbanize the Park a few years back, includes 400,000 square feet of new construction — housing, a hotel, the lab, offices, a food hall, a climbing gym and parking.

The lab project kicks off as there has been a particular push among the Park’s startups — those with 20 or fewer employees — to grow to 50-100 workers without taking business out of the city, University Research Park managing director Aaron Olver said. There’s currently no such space in the region to allow for that kind of mid-range expansion, he said.

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