Moderna Signs Lease for New 426,000 S.F. Headquarters at Kendall Square
The meteoric rise of Moderna, the biotech firm responsible for one of just a handful of Covid-19 vaccines, continues. Recently, the company signed a lease to occupy 426,000 square feet at 325 Binney Street in Kendall Square. The site, currently under construction, is owned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities and is slated to open in 2023. Upon completion, Moderna will engage in a phased move-in, eventually vacating its current headquarters at 200 Technology Square in East Cambridge.
In leasing the space at Kendall Square, Moderna will occupy more than 1 million square feet of commercial space in Massachusetts alone – an incredible feat given that the firm, founded in 2010, was practically unheard of before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. A longtime client and tenant of ARE, as Alexandria Real Estate is commonly called, Moderna has doubled its workforce since developing its vaccine. Today, the firm is the third-largest biopharma employer in Massachusetts, employing more than 1,700 people across the state.
At the end of September, Moderna reported a market value of $155 billion. Its pioneering messenger RNA platform caught the attention of ARE early on, and the life sciences developer has been investing in and providing real estate for Moderna for more than 10 years. Moderna expanded at lightning speed on the strength and success of its Covid-19 vaccine, receiving billions of dollars from the U.S. government via its Operation Warp Speed initiative.
Considering that Moderna started out with 44,000 square feet of space at 200 Tech Square in 2013, it's incredible that the firm will soon move into new corporate headquarters exceeding 400,000 square feet in size. Its new headquarters at 325 Binney Street, to be called the Moderna Science Center, will also include a research and development facility.
The firm, which currently has 22 programs in clinical trials, seeks to develop a net-zero commercial lab at the new site. Ultimately, the site is vying for LEED Zero Energy and Fitwel certifications. It hopes to achieve these goals by using on- and off-site renewable power and geothermal energy. Upon completion, it is expected to be the most sustainable facility of its kind on the market today.
Alexandria also owns Moderna's Norwood campus, where it manufactures the majority of its Covid-19 vaccines. The manufacturing plant, which features more than 300,000 square feet of space, is being expanded to more than 650,000 square feet in the near future.
ARE acquired the site at 325 Binney Street, which sprawls over 3.6 acres, for $80.2 million in 2017. Previously, the location was home to Metropolitan Pipe and Supply Company. Construction on the new facility started in 2020 and is currently underway.
California-based ARE has played an integral role in Moderna's skyrocketing success, investing in the firm early in its history. It owns Moderna's current headquarters at 200 Tech Square and has interests in many other life sciences properties across Greater Boston as well. In June, for example, Alexandria spent $815 million acquiring sites at One Rogers Street and One Charles Park in East Cambridge – an area where available lab space is basically non-existent.
In signing the lease for its new headquarters at Kendall Square, Moderna cements itself as a Boston-based biotech firm, highlighting the life sciences industry's massive influence on the city. The new headquarters will also further enhance the profile of Alexandria Center at One Kendall Square, the massive life sciences campus that has become a key player in the flourishing cluster in East Cambridge. Its phased move-in is slated to start sometime in 2023, and it will continue occupying its current headquarters in the meantime.