After years of high-tech companies moving from the suburbs into more urban areas of Cambridge and Boston, the trend could be starting to reverse, thanks to employees’ growing preference for flexible work arrangements and biotech companies pushing up rents.
Business software developer Pegasystems said it has signed a lease on more than 130,000 square feet of office space in a new development in Waltham. The company plans to vacate its current space on Rogers Street in East Cambridge near Kendall Square later this summer. Pegasystems will retain a smaller nearby office on Main Street in Cambridge, designated as its official headquarters, and an office in Salem, New Hampshire.
The goal is to match the company’s real estate footprint to a new and more flexible work policy. “We... expect we will have employees that will work from home part or full-time and want to take advantage of multiple locations depending on where their primary residence is,” a company spokeswoman said.
Pegasystems makes software to help companies automate computer tasks ranging from customer relations to predictive maintenance in factories. Its revenue grew 12 percent last year to more than $1 billion. CEO Alan Trefler told the Globe in February that his company plans to add hundreds more jobs in Massachusetts this year after adding 275 positions in 2020. “We expect another year of solid staff growth,” Trefler said.
The new Waltham office will be located in a 500,000-square-foot development that Hobbs Brook Real Estate is building on Wyman Street next to Route 128. Pegasystems expects to move in the first quarter of 2022, assuming construction ends on schedule.
Pegasystems’ old Cambridge headquarters on Rogers Street is being redeveloped by Alexandria Real Estate Equities into lab and office space aimed at the growing biotech sector. Alexandria, which already has created several biotech lab and office projects in Cambridge, paid $815 million for the office complex in June.
The purchase price was almost double what Davis Companies paid for the space six months ago, as the booming biotech sector is fueling massive demand for lab space. That’s making the area less attractive to all but the largest tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, which are both planning expansions in Kendall Square.