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May 28, 2021

Office Landlords Face 'Existential Crisis' As Companies Consider Hybrid Model As Talent Retention Tool

[In-Person] Where are the next land sites and opportunities for investment? Find out with What's New In Northeast Industrial Aug. 18

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Office Landlords Face 'Existential Crisis' As Companies Consider Hybrid Model As Talent Retention Tool

This summer is looking very different to 2020, as reopening plans take place and coronavirus cases slide. But when it comes to the return to the office, uncertainty still looms across most markets.In places like New York City, landlords are still reporting occupancy levels in buildings at less…

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New York State Court Of Appeals Won’t Hear Opposition To Two Bridges Development Project

New York State Court Of Appeals Won’t Hear Opposition To Two Bridges Development Project  

A group of developers is one step closer to building four new towers on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  A tumultuous, years-long legal saga over a proposed development project in the Two Bridges neighborhood reached a turning point this week as the New York State…

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The Need For Speed Is Driving Life Sciences Lab Conversion Boom

The Need For Speed Is Driving Life Sciences Lab Conversion Boom  

Jennifer Luoni is accustomed to converting commercial properties to lab space — she is director of operations at Boston-based architecture firm Dacon, which specializes in life sciences design.

But a recent assignment for Vedanta Biosciences has her in novel territory. The level of difficulty in transforming an old wood-framed space into a proper lab has made this design assignment comparable to “a bad game of Jenga.”

“It’s almost impossible,” Luoni said of the project, which seeks to convert an undersized space in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Typically, the amount of ductwork and HVAC gear needed for a lab means ceilings heights should be 14 feet at minimum. This building hits 11-and-a-half feet at its highest point; designers have had to carefully lay ductwork, sprinklers and lighting on top of each other in a narrow 2-foot-high space, trying to figure out the puzzle of arranging so much gear while still hitting the minimum allowable ceiling height. 

“Cramming a whole bunch of stuff into a building like that is crazy,” Luoni said. “But the desire to expand into the area is so high, they’re willing to do it.”

The forthcoming Vedanta conversion underscores why this type of retrofit is so hot right now and is pushing architects and developers to attempt conversions in spaces that would have been rejected years ago. In short, there’s a lot of investment money and not a lot of new spaces to rent…

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