Another big development could be coming to the rapidly expanding neighborhood around Assembly Row in Somerville.
A Dutch office development firm is partnering with Boston Global Investors to buy — and build on — a nearly one-acre site between Interstate 93 and Middlesex Avenue. EDGE, as the firm is known, and BGI aim to file development plans soon for a large office and lab building, said Jan-Hein Lakeman, executive managing director of EDGE US.
“We envision a very sustainable and smart commercial building,” he said. “We are office developers, but based on conversations with our advisers, we see tremendous need for great lab space there. So we’re considering a mix of lab space and office.”
The group, which is also partnering on a 675,000-square-foot office building at 401 Congress St. in the Seaport District, has the Somerville site under contract to purchase, Lakeman said. He wouldn’t disclose financial terms.
Last year, Somerville’s Planning Board approved a 21-story apartment building and 13-story hotel for the site, which today includes a row of small shops and a large empty lot. It totals 369,000 square feet. Lakeman said his group would ask the city to change its use to office and lab, and hopes to start construction in about a year.
EDGE, which focuses on green and high-tech office development, came upon the area while scouting Boston. The company likes its proximity to Cambridge and downtown, not to mention the booming Assembly Row complex next door.
“It really made sense from a holistic real estate perspective,” Lakeman said.
It’s the latest in a growing list of office developers that have circled Assembly Row since Partners Healthcare opened a huge building there in 2016.
Assembly Row developer Federal Realty Investment Trust is at work on a new headquarters for shoe- and apparel-maker Puma, while Cresset Development last year received permits for the 1.9-million-square-foot XMBLY complex on Middlesex Avenue. Federal Realty recently purchased a soon-to-close Kmart building, with eventual plans for development there, and several other sites are considered likely to hit the market soon.
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone has encouraged office and lab development in recent years at Assembly Row and in nearby Union Square as a way to bolster the city’s commercial tax base. In a statement, he said he’d welcome EDGE’s sustainable approach to development and job creation.
“We look forward to being a home site for EDGE as they continue to set a new standard for innovative, inclusive development,” Curtatone said.