BioMed Realty Acquires 482 KSF Boston Office Asset

The Seaport District property will undergo conversion to a life science facility starting in the second half of 2021.
601 Congress St. Image courtesy of BioMed Realty

BioMed Realty has acquired the former corporate headquarters of Boston life insurance company John Hancock and plans to convert it into a life sciences building. Company spokesperson Maria Huntalas told Commercial Property Executive that the seller of the the 482,000-square-foot property was a joint venture between UC Regents and Manulife, represented by Newmark.

Located at 601 Congress St. in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, the office was previously occupied by John Hancock. The insurance company announced its plans to move out of its corporate headquarters at the time in 2018, according to a report from The Boston Globe. The property earned a LEED Platinum designation and its amenities include a six-story atrium and event space, conference center, fitness center, cafe, bike storage, underground parking and two outdoor roof decks.


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BioMed Realty plans to convert the vacated property into a life sciences building as the property was built with a suitable mechanical and structural infrastructure with wide column spacing and 12- to 14-foot ceiling heights. The design of 601 Congress St., which features collaborative meeting areas and strong visibility in the Seaport area, also lends to BioMed Realty’s conversion plans. Huntalas told CPE that the company will be starting design work soon and that The Richmond Group was tapped to build the conversion, which is expected to start in the second half of 2021.

Booming Boston life sciences market

Colleen O’Connor, vice president of BioMed Realty, said in prepared remarks that the growing demand for life sciences space is evident in Boston, as the company is seeing more demand from its existing tenants alongside the number of new companies entering the market. O’Connor added that BioMed’s Boston existing portfolio is nearly 100 percent leased.

Over the years, BioMed Realty has been adding to its life science portfolio in Cambridge and Boston that now totals 5.9 million square feet. Most recently, BioMed Realty’s parent company, Blackstone, announced in December that it would acquire 2.3 million square feet of lab office space mostly located in Cambridge for nearly $3.5 billion. Prior to the major addition to its portfolio, the company also secured a new tenant with a 114,454-square-feet lease in its 301 Binney St. property in Cambridge in April 2019.