Biocube life sciences incubator pushes ahead with San Jose expansion

SAN JOSE — San Jose Biocube sees plenty of growth opportunities in San Jose as the life sciences incubator eyes additional expansion in the Bay Area’s largest city.

Fresh from a lease of 35,000 square feet in north San Jose, Biocube hints that additional expansion could be in the works.

“We are extremely confident in our concept,” said Tony Gonzalez, chief executive officer of life sciences incubator San Jose BioCube. “We see the potential for expansion.”

That expansion could ultimately prove to be dramatic.

“We are doubling down, we are tripling down, on San Jose,” said Jane Lalonde, chief marketing officer with San Jose Biocube.

The life sciences incubator started out with 37,000 square feet in south San Jose on the second floor of a building at 5941 Optical Ct.

Biocube then signed a lease for 35,000 square feet, taking half of a building in north San Jose at  2680 Zanker Road.

But the incubator believes that it can whip up enough business and activity to take another 35,000 square feet in the Zanker Road building, which would enable San Jose Biocube to fill up that entire building.

Biocube also has struck a deal to lease 30,000 square feet more at 5941 Optical, expanding to the ground floor of that building.

“I have always felt that if you build it, they will come,” Gonzalez said.

All told, that means from a starting size of roughly 37,000 square feet, Biocube could wind up with a combined total of 137,000 square feet of office and research space at its two San Jose sites.

“There has been and there is a high demand for our services,” Gonzalez said. “We finally have the opportunity to work with landlords who are willing to make the commitment to us to allow us to expand.”

The expansion could eventually lead to considerable job growth if the startups take off and expand in their own right.

Plus, by having a presence both in north San Jose and south San Jose, Biocube will be able to tap multiple tech markets as it seeks companies and startups to fill the incubator space.

“South San Jose is a place where you can still have access to both Silicon Valley and less expensive places to live such as Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and places to the south,” Lalonde said.

Biocube also might expand in terms of the types of companies it attempts to incubate.

“In South San Jose, Biocube is building a concept lab where one of the things that could be looked at is building batteries,” Lalonde said.

That means Biocube San Jose might cast its net well beyond the pool of life sciences startups.

“It could be clean energy, green energy, green tech, as well as biotech and life sciences,” Gonzalez said.

And with the coronavirus effects, intensified research into biotech and life sciences could become increasingly essential.

“We definitely need facilities like this in order to help fix the problems we face today,” Gonzalez said.