BioMed Realty Plans 1.3 MSF Life Science Hub

The new mixed-use research destination will soon rise in suburban Boston.
BioMed Realty’s Assembly Square project, Somerville, Mass. Image courtesy of BioMed Realty

With the acquisition of a 162,000-square-foot office building and an adjacent 7.5-acre site in the Assembly Square area of Somerville, Mass., BioMed Realty has triggered the creation of a new life-sciences mini-cluster in the suburban Boston town.


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The Blackstone portfolio company will transform the newly acquired assets into a 1.3 million-square-foot purpose-built innovation destination designed to accommodate tenants in the research, technology and life science industries.

BioMed has not publicly disclosed the financial details of the transaction. However, the office building, located at 5 Middlesex Ave. in the Assembly Square Office Park, last changed hands in 2018 when Cresset Group and Novaya Real Estate Ventures purchased it at near full occupancy for $35 million. The newly acquired assets sit within 3 miles of some of the nation’s leading educational and research institutions, including Tufts University in Medford, as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in Cambridge.

BioMed will develop the site in multiple stages, and the company has already commenced the design phase for the initial segment of the project. Ultimately, the development will feature R&D space, innovation space, retail square footage, as well as a roof deck and open public recreation space and amenity areas.

Not so hush-hush

While BioMed is in the very early stages of conceiving its project following the land acquisition announcement, it appears the new Somerville life science hub will be called XMBLY, an apparent nod to its location in Assembly Square. On Copley Wolff Design Group’s website, the firm touts its design of a 1-acre open green space for its client, BioMed Realty, at a new mixed-use complex called XMBLY, adjacent to Assembly Square in Somerville.