Former Gillette Parking Lot in Fort Point to Become Mixed-Use Development Heavy on Lab Space
Two ongoing trends in Boston are about to be put on display over in Fort Point. On November 18, development firm Related Beal filed a letter of intent with the Boston Planning and Development Authority, or BPDA, regarding tentative plans for a mixed-use development on the site of a former Gillette parking lot. In addition to doing away with yet another surface lot in the heart of the city, the project is slated to include huge amounts of lab and office space for life sciences and biotech firms, which continue to proliferate across the region.
Indeed, surface parking lots in Boston are going the way of the dodo – and for good reason. Space for new development across the city is sorely limited, but vacancy rates remain at or near record lows across many markets. Meanwhile, the life sciences and biotechnology industries continue to flourish across the region, increasing demand for cutting-edge laboratory space as well as offices for thousands of employees. The new development, which will be constructed at 244-284 A Street in Fort Point, is likely to be filled to capacity in no time.
The tentative proposal calls for the construction of three buildings on the site, which once served as a vast surface parking lot for Gillette. Gillette’s parent company, Proctor & Gamble, owned the approximately 6.5 acres of land until selling it to Related Beal. The proposal that was filed with the BPDA includes more than 1.1 million square feet of mixed-use space that is slated to include a research and development building with lab space that will offer around 400,000 square feet of space. It will stand 123 feet tall upon completion.
Plans also call for a residential tower that will offer approximately 366,000 square feet of space. That building is slated to stand 180 feet tall, so it will transform the skyline in this part of the city in a big way. Another 180-foot-tall building offering 334,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to traditional office square footage. Related Beal also notes in the plans that considerable amounts of open space is being set aside for each of the towers, ensuring that the area remains pedestrian friendly and not too much like a concrete jungle.
Those who pay attention to commercial real estate development in Boston are familiar with Related Beal, which has been responsible for some of the biggest and splashiest developments around the city in recent years. The firm was behind several luxury residential towers, including the Clarendon and One Back Bay. It also was responsible for the new Converse headquarters at Lovejoy Wharf and for Congress Square. Its reach even extends over to North Station, where the firm developed the Beverly – a residential development that is centered around affordable and workforce housing in downtown Boston. For the latest project, Related Beal has teamed up with architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox Associates to develop an official plan for the design of the new mixed-use development at Fort Point.
Given current trends around the city of Boston, the new development is certain to be a success for developers and investors alike. Between 2009 and 2019, for instance, the number of life-science jobs in Boston grew by 28 percent. Meanwhile, the amount of freshly developed space for life-science-related industries grew by 71 percent – which equals a total of more than 12 million square feet of space. If you would like to live in a vibrant new development in Fort Point, this one may be the answer. Boston City Properties can help, so contact us today for more information.