By Aaron Jodka | JUNE 2019
Greater Boston’s thriving life science industry has spurred a lot of debate about its next biotech hub. Several viable candidates range from Allston, with King Street’s NEXUS at The Allston Innovation Corridor and Harvard’s campus expansion, to Somerville and numerous suburban communities already attracting growth. However, Boston’s A Street Corridor is taking the lead.
Foundation Medicine (Roche subsidiary) is said to be close to a massive lease of up to 900,000 SF at Seaport Square, topping the recent Sanofi deal at Cambridge Crossing in size. Meanwhile, the heavy land investment in the Seaport area has really caught our attention. Anchor Line Partners, along with Alexandria Real Estate Equities, has its sights set on a 210,000 SF life science building on A Street. Alexandria has also partnered with National Development on the repositioning of the Necco Street garage as well as GE’s would-be headquarters at Innovation Point. Add in Related Beal’s purchase of surface lots from Gillette, and nearly $600 million has been invested in land deals to turn this area into the next life science hub.
Demonstrating expertise in life science/lab development, Alexandria has also been instrumental in the transformation of Kendall Square, while Related Beal is underway on iSQ and the conversion of 451 D Street.
The A Street Corridor, served by both South Station and the Broadway T stop on the Red Line, also directly connects to Cambridge’s thriving Kendall Square. National Development has also been a buyer along Dorchester Avenue, furthering the potential for the life science market to expand around the Broadway stop. Widett Circle, while cut off today, could also be a future area of lab growth in the years to come. Sites owned nearby by the Postal Service have long been coveted by market players and could become available in time. But with a cluster forming across the street by Gillette and GE, it is not far-fetched to think that life science will be a focus.
Heavy hitters are active in the area, and it won’t be long before other property holders start to think about converting or selling. It’s still early, but the A Street Corridor is looking like a strong bet to emerge as the area’s next hot spot for life science.