Potential Renters Quietly Sniff Around Pfizer's Extra Space in Packed Kendall Square

Potential Renters Sniff Around Pfizer’s Extra Space in Packed Kendall Square
July 24, 2015
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It’s no secret the Kendall Square area near Boston is one of the hottest pieces of real estate in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and the space is at a premium with potential tenants hoping to flock to the east coast industry hub.

One day following Pfizer Inc. r’s announcement it was consolidating its Kendall Street presence with the leasing of 500,000 square feet at 610 Main Street in Kendall Square from a subsidiary of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), there are already reports of potential renters looking to take up some of Pfizer’s extra space. When Pfizer leased the large space, it took on more space than it was initially planning to use, allowing for future expansions or possibly subleasing the space to another pharmaceutical company. Pfizer told the Boston Business Journal the pharma-giant is already in talks with other companies about the space, but declined to say which ones. Because of the size of the space, the Journal noted the potential company would have to be “a single large, well-funded biotech or even another big pharma company.”

The Journal reported the bulk of the Kendall Square properties are “100 percent leased,” following Boston Properties leasing an additional 50,000 square feet of space to Google Inc., adding onto the Internet company’s already expansive 300,000 square feet of property. Boston Properties controls nearly 3 million square feet of space in Kendall Square.

The Kendall Square properties lease for about $70 per square foot, which is not inexpensive. But, the proximity to the research and development talent in the area is a bonus that must be factored into the bottom line.

One of the reasons for the greater Boston area becoming such a major hub in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries is the plethora of research universities in the area. Boston also has one of the highest educated workforces in the nation. Not only are smaller companies calling the Boston area home, but many larger and established pharmaceutical companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline , Takeda Pharmaceuticals , Sanofi , Biogen Idec, Inc. and Novartis AG have presences in the city. The close proximity of so many pharmaceutical and university laboratories provides researchers and scientists easy access to clinical studies and building partnerships between companies.

Cambridge’s Kendall Square area, which makes up approximately one square mile, is packed with biotech representatives. In May, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company announced it will build a new drug delivery and device innovation center, the Lilly Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square.

In April, Amgen , headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., announced it was going to expand its presence in its Cambridge facilities, as well as in South San Francisco, part of a 100-person staff expansion. It indicated 75 new hires would be at its Kendall Square location.

BioMed Realty Trust rebranded almost 350,000 square feet of former Vertex Pharmaceuticals space over three buildings in Boston as the Sidney Research Campus. Vertex vacated the space in 2013 when it moved a few miles into Boston.

The new Sidney Research Campus facility already has its first tenant lined up. RaNA Therapeutics, Inc., a 25-employee preclinical biotech headed by Ron Renaud, the former CEO of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , will move in September, the Journal reported. More tenants are expected to be announced later this year. In 2013 RaNa inked a deal with Denmark-based Santaris Pharma A/S to use Santaris’ Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) technology to develop RNA-targeted medicines.

Following a corporate restructuring, AVEO Oncology relocated its offices to Kendall Square n May. The new site in Cambridge is considerably smaller than the company’s previous facility, a 90 percent reduction in facilities from the company’s prior Cambridge location at 650 E. Kendall Square. The site, at One Broadway, includes 5,000 square feet of office space under flexible lease terms, with no laboratory or vivarium space.

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