More Lab Space in the Works for the Seaport District
Demand for life-science space in Boston’s Seaport District has been sky-high for some time, and it looks like that trend will continue into 2021. Despite one of the roughest years in recent memory – mostly thanks to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – the city’s hottest neighborhood continues to grow by leaps and bounds. According to a letter of intent filed with the Boston Planning and Development Authority on December 10, 2020, more than 300,000 additional square feet of lab space will be added to the district in the near future.
The letter of intent, which was filed with the BPDA by TDC Development Group LLC, highlights work that is proposed to be completed by The Davis Cos., a Boston-based development firm. The work will be done to an existing building located at 88 Black Falcon Avenue, on the far edge of the neighborhood. Situated a few blocks away from one of the largest buildings in the neighborhood, the Innovation and Design Building, the property at 88 Black Falcon currently has a three-story, low-rise building with approximately 353,910 of office, warehouse and R&D space.
With the proposed addition, four additional stories will be built atop the current building. They will include another 330,600 square feet of space, which is also expected to be dedicated to lab space, office space and warehouse space. The plans also call for the addition of more parking. Currently, the site has 555 parking spaces. The addition will bring another 174 spaces, bringing the total to 729 parking spaces.
The Davis Cos. currently holds a ground-lease for the 10-acre site with the Massachusetts Port Authority. The company obtained the ground lease for $60 million back in 2017. When the addition is completed, the building situated at 88 Black Falcon Ave. will include 684,510 square feet of space, making it one of the larger buildings in the neighborhood.
The property is located on a pier. The proposed plans also state that the addition will contain water-dependent, or maritime, uses. However, no additional information about these uses has been released yet. More than likely, these uses include water taxis or other forms of public transportation.
Thus far, the BPDA has not issued a ruling regarding the letter of intent. The plans are, therefore, still in the very early stages. No information regarding when construction will commence and when it is expected to be finished has been made public. Since an addition is being made rather than a whole new building going up, however, chances are that the development timeline will be fairly brief. One thing’s for sure: The new space is desperately needed and is sure to be snapped up quickly.
Indeed, the proposed addition is just the latest of many development projects that seek to bring more lab and life-science space to the Seaport. In early December, the BPDA approved plans for a new 10-story building on Harbor Street that will add another 380,000 square feet of life-science and lab space, and several other projects are currently at various stages of development across the neighborhood.
With a vaccine now available, the pandemic will likely begin to wane sometime in 2021. Projects that may have been delayed from the pandemic will get the green light again, so we can expect to see a lot more development over in the Seaport throughout 2021 and beyond.