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Somerville to Be Home to Major New Office and Lab Space Development

Assembly Row in Somerville continues to thrive and grow – and the effect is expanding outward in a big way. One prime example of this is the announcement of a tentative new office and lab building at 74 Middlesex Avenue. The approximately one-acre lot is located between I-93 and Middlesex Avenue – and it is within close proximity of the thriving Assembly Row. It is also not too far away from Union Square, which has lately been giving Assembly Row a run for its money in terms of new commercial real estate development.

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The new project is a joint effort between Amsterdam-based development firm EDGE and Boston Global Investors, which is better known as BGI. The two firms have already partnered up together on other projects, including the 675,000-square-foot office building at 401 Congress Street in the Seaport District. Currently, the group has the site in Somerville under contract for purchase, but no specifics regarding the terms of the eventual sale or the price have been made public. The property was previously owned by Kems Corp., which will continue to hold a stake and will act as manager of the site.

Interestingly enough, Somerville’s Planning Board has already seen proposed plans for the site at 74 Middlesex in the recent past. Last year, the board approved plans for a 21-story apartment building and a 13-story hotel for the site, which is currently home to a string of small shops and a small, vacant lot. All told, that project would have offered around 369,000 square feet of space. Now that the plans have changed, however, the development group must ask the planning board for permission to change course. Given the enthusiasm of the mayor, Joe Cortatone, for the development of office and lab space in the city, it is certain to be approved.

The site is appealing to prospective tenants for lots of reasons. In particular, it is within reasonable proximity of downtown Boston and Cambridge, but it doesn’t yet suffer from the historically high rents that plague those areas. It is also very close to Assembly Row, and that complex has thrived since opening its doors, drawing all kinds of new business to Somerville. Indeed, Partners Healthcare opened a massive building there in 2016, and Puma is poised to open its new headquarters there shortly.

As if that area wasn’t growing rapidly enough as it is, permits were granted for the development of the 1.9-million-square-foot XMBLY complex, which will also be located on Middlesex Avenue. The mayor has encouraged these developments primarily so that the city can grow its commercial tax base, which will help to make it even more competitive still with other Boston suburbs that are vying for business from the many life sciences and biotech firms that thrive in the region.

Although specific plans regarding the new office and lab development at 74 Middlesex Avenue have not been released yet, developers have stated that construction on the project could start in early 2021. The project is expected to take around two years to complete, and many other new developments are sure to be hitting the pipeline in the meantime. All of this means that Somerville is quickly becoming the place to be for companies that have been priced out of places like downtown Boston and Cambridge.

Whether you are looking to buy or rent a home in Somerville or need space for a business there, Boston City Properties is here to help. Sign up now for free, instant access to our huge online database of searchable MA real estate listings to check real-time availability. When you’re ready, contact us for a referral to a local commercial real estate professional who can assist you further. If you have any questions, please contact us today.