Groundbreaking. Dynamic. Revolutionary.
For real estate veteran Frank Petz, these are the words that come to mind when describing the current life sciences landscape. Nowhere is it booming more than Boston, where the market is thriving and where Frank is based.
As Office and Life Sciences Lead on the Colliers Capital Markets Board of Advisors, Frank’s expertise sets him apart from the crowd. With 35 years of experience in the capital markets arena, on the investment sales side and on the buy-side, Frank is uniquely equipped to identify the most valuable lab and GMP opportunities out there. He doesn’t just see a building or a lot of land — he sees the greater potential — and harnesses it to help accelerate the success of his clients.
CONNECTING CAPITAL WITH OPPORTUNITY
Life sciences is an exciting and fast-growing industry, and Frank has a front row seat.
Investment dollars have poured into this sector, not only at the venture capital level, but also at the government level. Between 2020 and 2021, venture capital dollars alone increased threefold. This rush of funding coincided with groundbreaking scientific discoveries and advancement, like vaccine development and rare disease therapies, sending this asset class into hyper-growth mode.
While biotech stocks have been hit hard in recent quarters, innovators will still attract equity. And while life science assets will remain an investor favorite, Frank says they’re also a more technical sell. Knowing how this type of building functions is critical to identifying and underwriting opportunities, including buildings ripe for a successful conversion. Life science properties are highly customized, and scientists on the tenant side also demand expertise. “They need to be on-site in the lab. That building becomes a vehicle for meaningful work. It’s critical that all components function properly,” says Frank.
Frank understands how a life science building operates from top to bottom. A certain level of education and knowledge stems from his relationships with key operators and our clients who are in the industry. Frank also partners with industry-leading engineers and architects who understand the critical components of life science buildings, both physically and operationally, to assess whether an asset would be a good candidate. Collaborating with his team and the thought process behind developing strategic solutions are some of Frank’s favorite things about this job. Frank and his team know how to maximize an asset’s potential throughout its life cycle, from land development and office conversion to fully operational life science facilities.
What lies ahead for this specialty asset class? While the venture capital sector is starting to lean risk off, there are still plenty of lucrative opportunities. “Current turbulence will bring some moderation to investor exuberance. However, we remain convinced that the asset class and Boston will thrive in the long term,” Frank says. “There are plenty of diseases to find cures for. There are plenty of therapies that remain undiscovered.”
For Frank, nothing beats family. When he isn’t working, he’s spending time with his wife and four children, and adding to the chaos at home, a new puppy.