BioMed Realty Trust Takes Cambridge Place for $119M
- Feb 08, 2012
February 8, 2012
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
BioMed Realty Trust Inc.’s presence in the Boston/Cambridge life sciences market will soon surpass 3 million square feet, now that the life sciences real estate REIT has entered into an agreement to purchase the 287,000-square-foot Cambridge Place in Cambridge, Mass. The property comes with a price tag of $119 million.
“The Cambridge life science market is what we think is the preeminent market in the world really,” Rick Howe, director of corporate communications with BioMed, told Commercial Property Executive. “There are a large number of life science companies and organizations that are looking for space — some office, some lab — and we want to be able to handle both types of users’ requirements in the market.”
Cambridge Place consists of three structures and is presently 80 percent occupied. Heading up the tenant roster are Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. and engineering and construction firm CDM Smith Inc., which has called the property home since the complex’s first building, One Cambridge Place, opened its doors in 1998.
The life sciences market in the Boston/Cambridge area is booming, so prospects for leasing up the remaining space at Cambridge Place and other industry-related office and laboratory properties are positive.
“The demand is strong,” Angus G. McQuilken, vice president for communications with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, told CPE. “Massachusetts continued to lead the nation in biotech-related construction in 2011 and that’s a trend we expect to accelerate in 2012.”
The U.S. is home to some of the world’s leading life-sciences clusters. New York/New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego are among them, but Boston leads the pack, as per statistics from commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. And industry experts believe the Boston/Cambridge area will continue to lure life sciences businesses for the foreseeable future.
There are a few big reasons why the area is such a draw for life sciences companies ranging from large global corporations down to small entities and startups. “Companies are locating here and expanding here because they want proximity to our world-class academic institutions, our R&D, and they want proximity to partners in the industry and you’ll find all of the major global players in life sciences here in the Massachusetts cluster,” McQuilken said. “Also, they’re looking for talent. The talented workforce is the number one reason why companies choose to locate here. Then there’s the government role. Massachusetts’ 10-year, $1 billion life sciences initiative continues to be a magnet for private investment.”
Alas, the call for life sciences office and laboratory space accommodations is only going to grow louder. The average occupancy level at these properties is in the 13 percent range, according to a recent report by Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, but numbers can be deceiving. “One of the top biotech real estate concerns going into 2012 is the lack of tenant choice in the market and resulting constrained growth,” Brendan Carroll, senior vice president of research for Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, noted in a statement on the report. “It’s the downside of having such a strong biotech cluster in the region.”