Life Science

BioMed to Convert Space into Life Sciences Campus

Cambridge, MA – BioMed Realty Trust, which owns three buildings formerly occupied by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as well as an adjacent parking garage in Cambridge, is rebranding the area as Sidney Research Campus. The  property’s amenities include a shuttle bus, food trucks, and fitness centers.

Bill Kane, BioMed’s vice president of leasing and development focused on the Cambridge area, said his firm has done “exhaustive research” and found the biggest need in the life sciences right now is from smaller companies being pushed out of Kendall Square. He says that 28 of the 36 companies seeking lab space in Cambridge are looking for 80,000sf of space or less.

Kane said the trust will invest more than $150 psf at the campus with the goal of hosting smaller life sciences tenants priced out of nearby Kendall Square. This would put a price tag of at least $51 million on the 340,000sf redevelopment.

Therapeutics, a 25-employee preclinical biotech headed by Ron Renaud, the former CEO of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, will take possession of a portion of the space in September. Kane said more tenants will be announced in coming weeks, and he expects leases to be signed for the entire building by the end of the year.

This news answers longstanding speculation as to what would happen to one of the biggest chunks of contiguous lab space in Cambridge, most of which has been vacant since Vertex moved to Boston in 2013.