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Biotech Firm Doubles Seaport Space In $30M Lease Extension

645 Summer St. in Boston's Seaport.

A Massachusetts biotechnology company, boosted by its initial public offering last year, is expanding its Seaport footprint.

Akouos Inc., a gene therapy company developing hearing loss treatments, inked a new $30M lease extension at 645 Summer St. at the Pappas Commerce Park, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The biotech company extended its 2018 lease with owners Oxford Properties Group and Pappas Properties for a new, 10-year term and added more than 37K SF for a total of 75K SF.

The joint venture behind the park also inked 5-year leases with Ikena Oncology for 21K SF and 17K SF with Monte Rosa Therapeutics to bring the 150K SF building fully leased, it announced Wednesday. 

“These relationships are emblematic of our growing life sciences business, a key area of expansion for Oxford, and our ability to create a dynamic ecosystem for businesses doing important research and development," Oxford Director of Leasing Abby Middleton Mondani said in a statement.

Boston-based Akouos recorded $224M of net proceeds raised in an IPO last year, one of nearly two dozen life sciences trading debuts coming from Massachusetts. Their home at the flex office and lab building is part of the joint venture's 42-acre business park, spanning 9 buildings and 750K SF.

Akouos will pay a monthly base rent of $61,667 for the extra 37K SF, according to the SEC filing. That rate will gradually rise in the first 27 months of the term to a yearly term of $78.50 per SF. Akouos' rent will rise 3% per year after that to a maximum base rent of $99.52 per SF.

The numbers fall in line with life sciences rents in the Seaport, where tenants pay on average between $75 and $95 per SF, according to Newmark's 2020 Year-End report. Although the Seaport has heated up as a life sciences hub, highlighted by recent major acquisitions from Alexandria Real Estate Equities and BioMed Realty Trust the neighborhood currently has 16.7% vacancy for its 1.6M SF of supply, Newmark reported.

UPDATE, FEB. 10, 11 A.M. ET: Oxford Properties, a co-owner of 645 Summer St., announced two additional leases to bring the building to 100% leased. The story has been updated.

CORRECTION, FEB. 9, 11 A.M. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly named the Boston-based Akouos as a Brookline company. The story has been updated.