Science Square project tops out largest tower, announces first tenant

First phase of 18-acre, master-planned district quickly takes shape off Northside Drive

A year after breaking ground, the towering lab portion of Georgia Tech’s westward march has officially topped out.

The master-planned Science Square district—an initiative by Georgia Tech and its development partners that’s been in the works for more than a decade—will eventually cover 18 acres on the Westside, offering a blend of uses project leaders say is unlike anything else in Atlanta.

The university picked national developer Trammell Crow Company and its multifamily subsidiary, High Street Residential, to build Science Square in 2021. Georgia Tech affiliate Georgia Advance Technology Ventures is another partner in the project’s two-building initial phase.

The Science Square district’s first phase, which broke ground in August 2022, is rising a total of 27 stories between Georgia Tech’s campus and Westside neighborhoods such as English Avenue, where another multifaceted district, Echo Street West, began opening last year. Its goal is to fuse biomedical research and technology space with more traditional mixed-use components—commercial spaces and apartments.

Phase one’s 13-story Class A lab and office tower called Science Square Labs, a 368,000-square-foot spec project designed by Perkins + Will and developed by TCC, has recently topped out and made its first lease officially official. 

Chicago-based Portal Innovations, a venture capital firm that aims to help life sciences companies grow with lab space, seed capital, and management support, has leased the full 10th floor of the labs building, taking 33,136 square feet, TCC reps announced today.

Katherine Lynch, a TCC Atlanta principal, said Atlanta marks the fourth market where Portal will establish “a biotech and medtech ecosystem, further advancing Atlanta’s strong position in the life science industry,” according to a prepared statement. Portal’s space at Science Square will include private offices, wet and dry labs, and collaborative space, alongside an outdoor terrace.