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Crankin’ in East Cambridge

Crankin’ in East Cambridge
Five ground-breakings this fall, and more new projects on the way. That's billions going into the ground in one section of this small city. Who's generating the heat between Kendall andCentral squares? Several players are raising cranes, but much of the action can be traced back to Tech, spelled M-I-T.
MIT groundbreaking, Pfizer building, 619 Main
Two weeks ago, MIT president Susan Hockfield (brown suit) led the Suit 'n Shovel brigade, for a $300M, 500k SF research complex at 610 Main St, being developed by MIT Investment Management Co near campus. Pfizer scientists will anchor the first building by late '13. For Sanofi-Aventis, MITIMCo is completing a $100M, 225k SF gut rehab of 640 Memorial Dr, once a Ford plant. Tech leased land to Novartis for an upcoming research complex. In the '80s, it partnered with Forest City to build University Park, an early effort to transform an ex-industrial zone into a global magnet for scientific innovation, says Steve Marsh, MITIMCo's managing director of real estate.
Reznick Intext BOS
Crankin’ in East Cambridge
It's all about ?a massive competition for talent,? Steve says. Companies that can turn Tech's basic research into real world products are leasing labs and offices near the hospitals and schools training very bright people. To make sure the companies and students keep coming, next year MIT plans to launch a$700M, 1.1M SF plan to build labs, offices, housing, and retail around the Kendall Square T stop. Over the next 10 years, it will also invest $1.5B to build new (and renovate existing) academic space on campus. Last year, it wrapped up a $1.4B 10-year plan to develop new school buildings, (including the Gehry designabove).
Boston Properties, 17 Cambridge Center
Since the late ?70s Boston Properties has been a big player in East Cambridge, helping to rebuild a swath razed for a never-to-be-built NASA space center. Its Cambridge Center development helped revive the area and was a springboard for the company's growth into a major player in Boston metro (it owns 12M SF) and key markets nationwide, recalls JLL SVP John Osten. Boston Properties now owns 1.5M SF of Kendall Square lab/office space, garages and a Marriott Hotel. This fall, it started construction ontwo buildings with 440k SF adjacent to MIT, an office for Biogen Idec (above) and a lab/office for The Broad Institute.
Crankin’ in East Cambridge
Forest City Science and Tech Group COO Peter Calkins says his company believes that the Cambridge life science market will keep crankin?. Their $750M, 2.3M SF University Park—including 1.5M SF of labs, offices and retail plus housing and hotel—is fully leased and the apartments all rented. Offices can rent in the $60s/SF NNN and the apartments for $3 SF/month. Moving out of the park, they're permitting the adjacent 300 Mass Ave, a 265k SFresearch building with ground-floor retail. If they can partially prelease it, Peter says they?d like to start digging late in ?12.
Novartis 181 Mass Ave
Novartis moved its research HQ here from Basel in ?02 and now occupies 1.2M SF of labs and offices. On Tuesday, it won Cambridge city approval of its design for a $600M, 550k SF, three-building complex at 181 Mass Ave, where MIT once had its IT department. Maya Lin (Vietnam Veterans Memorial) is designing one building. The pharma giant hopes to start construction in Q1 ?12 and move in during ?15, says spokesman Jeff Lockwood. ?We're expanding in places with clusters of life science innovation,? focusing on Basel (corporate HQ), Cambridge and, to a lesser extent, Shanghai.
Alexandria Real Estate SVP Tom Andrews
A few weeks ago, we snapped a happy Tom Andrews, SVP atAlexandria Real Estate, who's charged with developing the$500M, 1.7MSF Alexandria Center at Kendall Square and managing its existing 2M SF in Cambridge. His group just started construction on the new complex's first building, a 307k SF build-to-suit for Biogen Idec. He says Alexandria invests in science markets all over the country and Cambridge is the premier place to be. That won't change. He says that it has an entrepreneurial eco system for science and technology with an increasingly lighter side: 16 new restaurants have opened in the past 18 months.