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May 18, 2024
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Chris Moe, Hans Kemo and Austin Arper Join CREs Seattle Office


Three life sciences specialists have joined the Seattle office of CBRE. Chris Moe and Hans Kemp join as Executive Vice Presidents and will be co-leaders of CBREs Life Sciences practice in the Northwest. Austin Arper joins as a First Vice President. The trio specializes in advising companies in the growing life sciences sector, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device organizations.

The life sciences real estate market has performed well this year despite a slowdown in venture capital funding and headwinds that challenged the broader economy. In Seattle, there are 15 tenants in the market for a cumulative 400k sf of life sciences space, according to CBREs third quarter report on the sector. Lab vacancy in Seattle stands at just 6.9%, less than half the markets office vacancy rate of 17.6%. Earlier this year, Seattle ranked as the ninth-leading market in the U.S. for life sciences talent with the number of life sciences researchers up 24% between 2015 and 2020.

Mimicking national trends, life sciences venture capital funding is down in Seattle compared to 2021s record-breaking year but remains robust. Life sciences venture capital funding totaled $1.3 bil over the first three quarters of 2022, compared to $1.9 bil in the first three quarters of 2021. In addition to venture capital funding, the National Institutes of Health continues to invest in Puget Sound life sciences research projects, awarding $1.3 bil to projects in Washington State over the past year, the seventh-highest amount among U.S. states.

The life sciences sector is one of the Puget Sound regions fastest-growing property types, and these professionals have been the top players in the sector for 20 years. The real estate needs of life sciences organizations are distinct and complex, and this team has the experience and knowledge to execute for their clients. Chris, Hans and Austin merging their practices and adding the breadth and depth of CBREs global platform to support them creates an unmatched combination in our market, said John R. Miller, senior managing director of the Pacific Northwest, CBRE.

Moe most recently was with Kidder Mathews, leading their Life Science Advisory group for the Puget Sound region. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and currently serves as foundation board member for the Institute for Systems Biology and a regional board member for GenNext.

Kemp and Arper were previously with Flinn Ferguson. Kemp has advised life sciences organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest and other recognized scientific markets domestically and abroad and is widely regarded as a leading industry expert. Prior to Flinn Ferguson, he held roles at JLL and The Staubach Company, where he was a founding partner in Seattle. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon.

Arper has spent the last 10 years representing fast-growing life sciences and technology-based companies both domestically and abroad. He is a Washington native and graduated with a Finance degree from the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

The combined team has completed more than 2.7 msf of life sciences transactions over the past five years, representing approximately 85% of all life sciences activity in the Puget Sound region.

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