Alexandria Plans For 1M SF Of Cambridge Development

Alexandria Plans For 1M SF Of Cambridge Development

Alexandria Real Estate Equities expects to have permits in place this year for 1 million square feet of new development along Binney Street in Cambridge, although no construction timeline is yet available.

The company recently got approval from Cambridge’s planning board for its 50 Binney St. project, a 496,000-square-foot building comprised office and research and development space.

The Binney Street Project, as it is known, will be built on five parcels of land totaling 11 acres that are located along Binney Street between First and Third Streets. The project will include the construction of five buildings that will house labs and offices, as well as housing and parking, in about 1.5 million square feet of space.

“We’ll be ready to build,” but need to pre-lease the spaces before shovels are in the ground, said Thomas Andrews, senior vice president for Alexandria.

Andrews discussed the plans at a NAIOP event this morning, highlighting the success of biotech and life science companies and institutions in Cambridge. Commercial real estate professionals are especially interested in the activity of venture capital companies operating in that intellectual hub.

One question posed to panelists at the event asked about the effects of mergers and acquisitions on Alexandria’s tenants.

“Mergers create efficiencies in R&D budgets,” while offering an exit to venture capitalists, as well as bringing together scientists from different companies to collaborate on research, said Peter Moglia, Alexandria’s chief investment officer. He added that the small, startup companies have become research arms for larger firms.
When asked about the future growth of the biotech center, Moglia said, “If there were ever an effort to go out across the country and recruit companies to Cambridge, it would be quite successful. Cambridge has never had to market itself.”

Ray Andrey, senior real estate manager for Microsoft, said the key challenge to business growth in Cambridge is a lack of space.

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