Hughes Marino has spent the past 30 years representing tenants in the life science sector. As the market continues to expand due to investments, advancement in research, and rising medical and technology demands, the San Diego-based business has risen to the occasion.
Hughes Marino recently expanded its slate of offices, officially opening locations in Boston and the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. These regions happen to be two of the most flourishing life science hubs in the nation.
“Our firm has been representing life science tenants for our whole careers, for 30 years,” said David Marino, senior executive vice president and co-founder of Hughes Marino. “And as we have grown, we think that’s a really important part of the economy and an important part of our practice. It’s a very specialized base of knowledge as well, as to what those companies and what that industry requires.”
Although demand for life science space has been trending up for several years, rapid technological advancements in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics have been key catalysts in helping scientists develop new treatments for diseases.
More significant investments in the life science industry are another contributing factor to the demand for more lab space, and it’s creating momentum behind the life science boom.
Marino said that while he worked to grow his brand, syncing up with the life science industry made sense economically. It’s one of the reasons San Diego became the firm’s flagship office. It’s also one of five markets within the United States with the necessary infrastructure, educational system, and talent to support the booming life science industry.
“There are a few life science markets in the U.S., and fortunately, we are in all of them,” Marino said. “We’ve also got tremendous strength in San Francisco and Seattle, which are the primary West Coast markets.”
Where Is Life Science Going?
Life science is also increasing its presence in other areas of the United States. However, San Diego, San Francisco, the Research Triangle in North Carolina, Boston, and Seattle are considered the leading players in the industry.
Marino said the hotbeds for life science aren’t accidental but strategic, and that it wouldn’t make sense to spread the sector out — it’s more lucrative to have these market clusters.
Marino added that as life science hubs blossom, it’s a smart decision for developers to hover around these markets and for investment landlords to assess the risks and rewards of building lab space and stick to areas where demand is already rising.
Over the past three years, Marino explained about 5 million square feet of life science space there has been leased, and it’s still a hot commodity.
“Literally, they’re tearing down two- and three-story office buildings to build six-story lab buildings,” he said.
An Ongoing Reliance on Life Science
The tenant representation specialist added that Hughes Marino is focused on hiring team members with life science knowledge.
“We’re hiring some of the top office professionals and industrial professionals as well who know what manufacturing and supply chain companies require and what corporate headquarters and traditional office tenants require,” he revealed.
Hughes Marino has always been heavily invested in hiring people with passion who align with the award-winning cultural company values such as “embracing the family spirit,” “enjoying the journey,” and “delivering excellence in everything they do.” The brand has been known to bring in world-renowned motivational speakers to keep the team pumped and perpetuate an attitude of gratitude throughout its portfolio of offices and clients.
Marino said it’s the company’s culture that truly sets it apart from competitors. Its leadership’s ability to have insight into the next big real estate trend is another cornerstone of Hughes Marino’s success.
Knowing which markets to pursue talent in and at what time is another skill he says his company has honed over the years. Not only does Hughes Marino seek talent in life science districts, but talented professionals also seek out the firm. Working as a team and developing trust in-house and with clients is also vital to the company’s legacy of wins.
“We have a very strong culture and a very strong sense of right and wrong, and a very strong sense of only hiring good people that are excellent at what they do,” the company’s co-founder said. “As we’ve grown, we’re attracting more and more people like that because we’re now seen as a legitimate national player.”
Hughes Marino has always approached expansion organically and with purpose. As they have boldly opened offices in new cities, more talent has flocked to the brand, which is now a solid national company.
“We have a footprint in five different states with nine offices and more to come. And so I’m really so excited about where this ends because it’s just going to be more of that. It’s going to be more amazing people in more wonderful communities around North America,” Marino says.
And Hughes Marino remains on an impressive trajectory for 2023, with estimates indicating the current global life science market teetered around $162 billion last year. It’s slated to swell at a compound annual growth rate of 15.02% during the forecast period, reaching $376 billion by 2027.
Transparency Played a Prominent Role in Hughes Marino’s Rise to the Top
A company doesn’t snag a slew of accolades from business journals, Fortune magazine, Entrepreneur, and Inc. as a Best Workplace and get featured in leadership books by bestselling authors without being an industry leader.
“We don’t have an agenda. When a tenant comes to us and says, ‘Hey, here’s my problem, and here’s what I’m trying to accomplish,’ we don’t look at that as, well, how does that fit into our agenda to fill our listings or to make us look good to landlords,” Marino says.
Instead, the deal-savvy businessman says listening and crafting the right questions are ideal negotiation tools for the trade.
“[We say] let’s go to the market to uncover all of the alternatives and create a robust negotiation and create an auction environment for that tenant with their credit and their size to get the best deal for them,’” Marino concludes.