BioMed Realty snaps up innovation campus site within earshot of pricey and bustling Boston biotech hub
On the short list of the premier biotech hubs in the world, the Boston area has transformed into a home for innovation — and ridiculously high rent. Now, a real estate firm is seeking tenants for a major site in neighboring Somerville with more than enough elbow room.
Snapped up by BioMed Realty, the land — which consists of an existing 162,000 square-foot office building and a 7.5 acre site — will serve as an “innovation space” for a variety of research, technology and life science tenants, the real estate company said in a press release. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
“Our vision for the Assembly Square location is to create a premier innovation campus where science and technology intersects,” BioMed Realty vice president Sal Zinno said in a statement. “With close proximity to downtown Boston, the airport, a major interstate highway, public transit and adjacent amenities … it’s an ideal location and size for a large life science company to establish a prominent headquarters.”
The Somerville facility will join existing BioMed Realty-owned lab and office space in Cambridge and Boston. The company said in a press release that the location was strategically chosen due to its proximity to renowned research institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.
Design has already begun on the beginning phases of the sprawling Somerville campus, which when completed will include R&D, innovation and retail spaces, plus a roof deck and open public recreation and amenity areas, BioMed Realty said.
The acquisition of the Somerville land adds to an existing 11.4 million square feet of land already owned by BioMed Realty, which is spread across the US and the UK, including the Boston and Cambridge space, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle and Cambridge, UK.
The new space is sure to add even more competition to Boston’s already-bustling biopharma hub. In early 2020, Endpoints News reported that only 0.8% of lab space was vacant and still available for rent in the area, while nearby East Cambridge (home to Kendall Square) was entirely occupied — even with the high rent average of near $110 per square foot.
In August, Bristol Myers Squibb inked a deal for a 360,000 square-foot lease at Cambridge Crossing, part of a 43-acre life sciences hub being built on the city line between Cambridge and Somerville.
Biotech entrepreneur Arie Belldegrun and his son Dan, who operates Breakthrough Properties, have been working with Tishman Speyer on new projects of their own in Cambridge. Those include a new Seaport facility and the development of the initial phase of Harvard’s new Enterprise Research Campus in Allston.