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Cambridge Innovation Draws Big

Cambridge Innovation Draws Big
NAIOP's panel of real estate gurus: Microsoft?s Ray Andrey, Alexandria's Peter Moglia, the moderator, CBRE's Chuck Kavoogian and MIT?s Steve Marsh.
Beyond packed, extra chairs were brought into the Seaport Hotel last Wednesday to fit a crowd eager to learn how Cambridge?s innovation industry is powering one of the strongest the real estate markets in the region. We snapped NAIOP's panel of real estate gurus: Microsoft?s Ray Andrey, Alexandria's Peter Moglia, CBRE's Chuck Kavoogian, and MIT?s Steve Marsh. Ray, the tenant in the group (which is expanding in Cambridge), says for a tech firm the real estate mantra is: talent, talent, talent. That's why he wants to be in Cambridge where the talent pool is ?heads above anyplace on the planet,? with its mix of computer, life and hard science. Microsoft wants to be here to learn what people think, he says. The software giant has a partnership with Samsung (which is moving into the same building) and recently struck a deal with Nokia.
Alexandria's Peter Moglia
Peter tells us that two of the world?s top three innovation centers are in Cambridge?s Kendall Square and Harvard Square/LMA. He says Alexandria is planning to expand its 1.8M SF of mostly labs here because the city has all the ingredients that cultivate technology and science growth: the scientists, a critical mass of lab space, 12 VC firms, and MIT and Harvard, each with research budgets surpassing $1B per year. Peter says Alexandria is moving ahead with projects that could double its Cambridge footprint, as Bisnow previously reported. He tells us that the Cambridge lab market will be strong well into the future despite the Sanofi-Aventis/Genzyme merger. That, he says, will effect administrative rather than lab space. Alexandria's business is labs, which usually generate revenue because they create products.
MIT?s Steve Marsh
Steve says MIT has 18M SF of real estate, 12M SF of academic space, and 6M SF off campus in the innovation cluster surrounding the Institute. In the past decade, it expanded 1.7M SFand has plans for even greater growth in this decade. He tells us that almost 100 years ago, MIT left Boston seeking more room, a ?valuable lesson? about accommodating expansion. Its talent pool is reflected by the 51 people associated with MIT who are Medal of Science winners and the 76 Nobel winners. MIT has spawned 28k companies pumping $2 trillion into the world economy and last year registered 160 patents. Critical for the vibrancy of the Cambridge innovation cluster is density, so Steve says if Vertex decamps to Boston it will be Cambridge?s loss.