Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, some things about Boston real estate haven’t changed. One of them is voracious demand from life sciences companies.
The latest is Bristol Myers Squibb, which late Tuesday announced plans to lease 360,000 square feet in a building under construction at Cambridge Crossing, a huge office and housing complex on the Cambridge-Somerville line in East Cambridge.
The drug maker will consolidate its two Cambridge research-and-development facilities — one now on nearby Binney Street in Kendall Square, the other in Alewife — into a new, single, lab building there. The 483,000-square-foot building, at 250 Water St., is on track to open in 2023.
Bristol is the latest big-name company to make its way to Cambridge Crossing, a former rail yard being redeveloped with a slew of office and lab buildings, a new Lechmere station on the extended Green Line, and more than 3,000 condos and apartments planned. Philips North America is moving its headquarters there from Andover, while Sanofi is planning to consolidate several Cambridge locations into two buildings currently under construction. In all, developer DivcoWest has leased 1.7 million square feet of office and lab space in the complex, with about 700,000 square feet left to go.
“We are thrilled that global leader Bristol Myers Squibb has chosen CX (Cambridge Crossing) as their future home,” said Mark Roopenian, managing director at DivcoWest, in a statement. “CX is designed to be a network of forward-thinking change makers like Bristol Myers Squibb, and we are proud to create a space for them at 250 Water St. so that they can pursue discoveries that positively transform patients’ lives.”
The deal also highlights the ongoing strength of the region’s life-sciences market, despite the pandemic. While deals and expansions in other corners of Boston’s office market have slowed to a trickle, the business of building and leasing lab space roars on.
Last month, gene-editing firm CRISPR Therapeutics leased a full building near the Broadway Red Line station in South Boston, and life-sciences-oriented development projects are pushing ahead in various corners of Greater Boston.