Life Science Lines Up In Cambridge

Developers Prepare More Big Projects

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
September 4, 2016

binneyIt’s an unusually good time to be a commercial developer in Cambridge.

Competition for lab space is tighter than parking on move-in day despite a blistering development climate that’s added nearly 1.3 million square feet in the past year. East Cambridge’s lab availability rate of 2.7 percent – down from 3.2 percent a year ago, according to Transwestern RBJ – forces life science companies with short-term space requirements to look toward future developments, or a select few suburban markets.

There’s only one block of space that’s uncommitted in Kendall Square’s construction pipeline: 221,000 square feet at Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ 100 Binney St., which is scheduled for completion in late 2017.

“Right now, we have almost 1 million square feet of demand from big block (life science) users looking for over 100,000 square feet (in Cambridge and Route 128),” said Matthew Powers, an executive vice president for JLL.

That’s prompted talk from developers about going spec on the next generation of major projects.

Boston Properties has indicated it plans to break ground next year on two towers containing over 771,000 square feet of office and lab space at 145 Broadway and 250 Binney St. in its Kendall Center redevelopment. DivcoWest is moving forward with permitting of the 1.8-million-square-foot office and lab component of the long-delayed NorthPoint master-planned site that it acquired last year for $291 million. And Alexandria Real Estate Equities is positioned to begin a 172,500-square-foot building at 399 Binney St., part of the One Kendall Square site it has under agreement for $725 million.

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