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Biotech Agrees To Lease 63K SF At BioMed Realty's South End Lab Conversion Project

A Boston biotech firm is committing to 63K SF at one of the city’s most prominent office-to-lab conversion projects.

BioMed Realty's office-to-lab conversion project at 321 Harrison Ave., shown under construction in Boston's South End in a June 2021 Boston Planning and Development Agency presentation.

Monte Rosa Therapeutics, which develops cancer medicines, entered into an agreement with an affiliate of life sciences developer BioMed Realty for office and lab space at 321 Harrison Ave. The 10-year lease will commence in April, and Monte Rosa will pay $95 per SF in the term’s first year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Monte Rosa and BioMed Realty didn’t respond to requests for comment Thursday. 

The lease is a significant commitment by a life sciences firm to an office-to-lab conversion project in Boston, a market increasingly flush with similar repositionings. BioMed bought 321 Harrison Ave. and the adjacent 1000 Washington St. in the South End in February from Nordblom and CIM, which jointly owned the properties. The eight-story 321 Harrison Ave. project will span 230K SF above an existing parking garage and adjacent to the 11-story, 242K SF 1000 Washington St. building. 

Life sciences developers since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic have bought up struggling office assets across Boston and today are converting combined millions of SF of space into labs to capture the space-starved industry’s vast demand.

BioMed in January is undertaking one of the city’s largest office-to-lab conversions at the former 482K SF John Hancock Life Insurance Co. headquarters in the Seaport. The Blackstone subsidiary bought the long-vacant 14-story property for $362M in January.

Monte Rosa in February signed a 17K SF, five-year lease with Oxford Properties Group for space at 645 Summer St. in the Seaport at the Pappas Way business park.