One uCity Square was mostly leased up before Wexford Science & Technology opened the 400,000-square-foot life sciences building in January 2023.

The timing was spot on as demand for life sciences space peaked in the first half of 2022, Wexford Vice President of Development Pete Cramer said.

Now, Wexford is focused on its next project, a 200,000-square-foot life sciences building nearby in University City at 3838 Market St. But construction is on hold.

“3838 [Market], just from a timing perspective, missed the window,” Cramer said. “Now financing is a challenge to get. Lenders are looking for a certain pre-leasing threshold.”

Wexford’s pause is similar to several other developers taking a wait-and-see approach on life sciences projects. A year ago, prospective tenants looking for life sciences space in Philadelphia totaled between 2 million and 2.5 million square feet of requirements, JLL Research Director Clint Randall said. Now, that figure is around 1.1 million square feet.

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