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Developer proposes lab space where Globe delivery trucks once parked

The 305,000-square-foot project would be next phase of overhaul of the old Boston Globe complex on Morrissey Boulevard

A rendering of a planned six-story life-science building on the site of the old Globe headquarters on Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester, as seen from the Southeast Expressway.Elkus Manfredi Architects

Beacon Capital Partners has proposed expanding its life-science footprint at the former Boston Globe headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester with a six-story lab building.

The 305,000-square-foot life-science facility would be built on what’s currently a large surface parking lot located between the former Globe building — now called Southline Boston — and Interstate 93. Beacon is proposing to connect the lab to the main building “via an elevated pedestrian walkway,” according to documentation filed with the Boston Planning and Development Agency. The lab and office would have three levels of underground parking with 417 spaces.

“The demand for flexible, large-scale office and lab space has only grown in the Boston market, and infill development on the project site’s surface parking lot offers a sustainable option to meet this demand,” the development team wrote in a March 24 notice of project change to the BPDA.


Steve Purpura, president of Beacon Life Science, said Southline’s location south of Boston — compared to existing biotech clusters in Cambridge’s Kendall Square and emerging clusters in Allston/Brighton and Watertown — gives it an advantage.

“We’ve definitely seen demand that wants to be on the south side of the city,” Purpura said.

Demand from life-science tenants surged locally in 2021, following a run of fund-raising and other investment pouring into the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That demand has since pulled back to pre-pandemic levels, but Cambridge and Greater Boston remain among the most in-demand hot spots for biotech companies, and lab developers are still pitching new projects.

The Globe moved its newsroom to downtown Boston in 2017, after which Burlington-based real estate firm Nordblom Co. renovated the 695,000-square-foot former headquarters to “to accommodate creative office, technology, light manufacturing, warehouse, life science, and retail tenants,” according to BPDA filings. Beacon later acquired the property from Nordblom and Alcion Ventures LP in a deal valued at $362.5 million, and again repositioned the property, this time to accommodate lab users.


Sportswear company NOBULL in early 2022 signed the first lease deal at Southline, and Flagship Pioneering has set up several life-science companies at the campus.

Beyond the Globe site, a number of large-scale real estate projects are in the works in and along Morrissey Boulevard, including the massive 6.1 million-square-foot Dorchester Bay City at the former Bayside Expo Center and a 1.56 million-square-foot lab and residential development at 35-75 Morrissey Blvd.

Beacon is proposing the new lab reach up to 135 feet at its tallest point, including six levels of lab and office space and two levels of mechanical penthouse. Labs require much more intensive HVAC and electrical systems than a standard office, often needing redundant power and round-the-clock operations.

Beacon plans for construction to start in mid-2024 and wrap up by the end of 2026.

The view of a proposed lab building in Dorchester from Grampian Way in neighboring Savin Hill.Elkus Manfredi Architects

Catherine Carlock can be reached at catherine.carlock@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @bycathcarlock.