BOSTON: Skanska's Bet on Spec
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Three years ago, Skanska USA Commercial Development bet on a spec building in East Cambridge, developing a $70M, 123k SF life sciences lab and office. Its hunch was right: After less than three months on the market, the firm just sold the building, 150 Second Street, to Alexandria Real Estate Equities for $94.5M. And Skanska USA Commercial Development prez Mats Johansson, above, says it may do it again. (Sound of Music aside, everyone loves remakes.)
Even in the depths of the market crash, Skanska's conservative projections showed that the biotech industry was active and fundamentals in East Cambridge--rents, vacancy rates, and sales values--were strong, Mats says. The life sciences/biotech industry also recovered faster from the recession than any other sector in Cambridge (well, that makes sense). And economies are recovering well in other markets in which the Swedish developer has invested: Houston, Seattle, and DC.