Boston Agency Approves $300M Mixed-Use Research Facility in Medical Enclave

Plans for the development of the Longwood Center, a 350,000-square-foot mixed-use research center at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, move forward as the Boston Redevelopment Authority gives the green light to the joint venture behind the $300 million endeavor. Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., Charles River Realty Investors and National Development are the developers of the Longwood Center, which will sit within the 200-acre Longwood Medical Area, an enclave of hospitals, biomedical research centers and educational institutions about three miles from Downtown Boston. The state-of-the-art building will occupy a one-acre parcel that the joint venture acquired from the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center last November for $70 millionUpon completion, the nine-story facility will feature clinical, laboratory and related office space on the top eight floors, in addition to retail and restaurant space on the first floor and a below-grade parking facility for 290 vehicles. Joslin will be given the opportunity to either lease or purchase a portion of the building, and the remaining space will be marketed to other life science industry users, which are plentiful in Boston; the city received $1.6 billion in National Institutes of Health research grants last year, marking its 14th straight year as the city awarded the highest amount in NIH funding in the United States, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority. In general, the laboratory and research properties sector in the country’s hot spots is on target to thrive well into the future. “In recent months, the life sciences real estate market has grown stronger and those that are in the market are poised to do well,” Susan Persin, partner with real estate market consulting services firm Foresight Analytics, told CPN today. “It goes hand in hand with the growing aging population and the need for new drugs and therapies, and what that means for the industries that produce them. The long-term trends are good for this type of real estate.” Construction of the Longwood Center is on target to get underway in June.