Benjamin Franklin Institute moving to Dudley Square

After more than a century in the South End, the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is heading to Dudley Square in Roxbury. The technical college, which has been on Berkeley Street since its founding in 1908, on Monday completed the purchase of the old Harrison Supply Co. building on Harrison Avenue, near Melnea Cass Boulevard, where it plans to build a new campus on seven-tenths of an acre in the next few years. The school said it will soon file plans with the Boston Planning & Development Agency for a building of about 85,000 square feet. The move will give the school a modern campus, said its president, Anthony Benoit — one that’s closer to the neighborhoods where many of its roughly 550 students live, and to nonprofits and educational institutions with which the school partners. The purchase is part of a two-step transaction for Benjamin Franklin, which in January hired brokers to sell its South End property. No deal has yet closed for that site, which is expected to fetch tens of millions of dollars. But Benoit said there has been strong interest and he’s “fully optimistic” a sale will happen, with the proceeds being enough to pay for the new building. Any money left over would go toward bolstering Benjamin Franklin’s endowment of about $4 million. The college paid $6 million to buy the site, according to a deed filed Monday in Suffolk County. In January, a Wellesley holding company paid $3.45 million to buy the unused building from its longtime owner. — TIM LOGAN


The Hungry I closes after almost 40 years

C’est la vie. Longtime Beacon Hill bistro, The Hungry I, has closed its doors after nearly four decades as one of the city’s most romantic restaurants. Lovebirds and friends flocked to the restaurant as much for its decadent French fare as its candle-lit, cozy quarters. A menu boasting indulgent dishes like duck a l’orange and a sprawling list of European wines lay on white tablecloths. Climbing vines and flowering plants bloomed in a secluded patio tucked in the rear. Chef Peter Ballarin opened The Hungry I in 1981 in the basement of a 19th century Beacon Hill brownstone on Charles Street. The restaurant was the first solo endeavor for Ballarin, a Massachusetts native who learned his craft from a French cook while in culinary school. Over the years, he assumed the role of maître d’, checking in on guests as they rang in a birthday or an anniversary, and of chef, serving up sophisticated French fare in a kitchen only big enough to fit four people. — HANNA KRUEGER



Beware using a 3-D printer in close quarters

If you spend much time working around 3-D printers, you might want to open a window. A recent report from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Underwriters Laboratories warns that low-cost 3-D printers can give off carcinogenic gases and microscopic plastic particles that can cause lung irritation if inhaled. But Rize Inc., a Concord maker of 3-D printers, said Tuesday its products have just been certified by UL under a new standard aimed at reducing the risk of exposure. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical adviser at UL, said her research has identified more than 200 volatile organic compounds given off by various brands of 3-D printers. About 25 percent of the compounds pose some kind of health risk. “Some of them are carcinogens,” Black said, “[and] some are known reproductive toxins.” In addition, the plastic filaments used to build 3-D-printed objects give off “nanoparticles” of plastic material that mix with air and are easily inhaled. These particles are known to cause lung irritation, and some research indicates that long-term exposure could lead to cardiovascular problems. Black said brief exposure to the machines poses little risk, but long-term exposure should be avoided. The printers should be used in well-ventilated rooms, and perhaps installed underneath an exhaust hood like those mounted over kitchen stoves to remove smoke. — HIAWATHA BRAY



Owner of athenahealth selling its Watertown campus

There have been a lot of changes at athenahealth over the last few years. The latest one will change the formerly highflying health data IT company from a landlord into a tenant. In a deal that real estate experts say could fetch hundreds of millions of dollars for athenahealth’s new owners, the company is selling its 29-acre campus on Arsenal Street in Watertown. But athenahealth is not moving. As part of the sale, the company says, it would sign a long-term lease with any new owner. Selling the Arsenal on the Charles campus is a way to capitalize on the market in what has become a hot corner for the region’s tech and life-science industries. At the same time, it allows athenahealth — bought by a pair of private equity firms in February for $5.7 billion — to get out of the business of managing a huge office complex. Cofounder Jonathan Bush once envisioned athenahealth filling the entire 11-building, 830,000-square-foot Arsenal on the Charles, which is part of the old Watertown Arsenal campus. But the company’s growth slowed, and last year Bush resigned amid a hostile takeover bid that ended with athenahealth in the hands of Veritas Capital and activist investors Evergreen Coast Capital. They merged it with a former General Electric subsidiary, Virence Health, but pledged to keep the headquarters in Watertown, where athenahealth employed about 2,000 people before the takeover. The company will sign a long-term lease for about the same amount of office space it currently occupies — roughly 350,000 square feet — said Dave Pergola, executive managing director at the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, which athenahealth hired to lead the sale. Much of the rest of the space is leased to other companies, but those leases will gradually turn over, and a master plan for the site allows at least 200,000 square feet of new development. — TIM LOGAN



Vertex in deal with North Carolina biotech firm to develop RNA-targeted medicines

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the Boston drug maker best known for its cystic fibrosis treatments, continues to branch out, cutting a deal with a North Carolina-based biotech firm that is targeting several serious illnesses, including the fatal genetic disorder Huntington’s disease. In an agreement announced Monday, Vertex will pay Ribometrix $20 million up front to discover and develop at least two RNA-targeted medicines, with an option for a third. RNA — or ribonucleic acid — is a molecule found in all cells. It acts as a messenger, carrying the DNA’s instructions to the cells for making the proteins that are essential for life. Scientists have long believed RNA to be a good therapeutic target in the treatment of illnesses. The first collaboration that Ribometrix will focus on is Huntington’s disease. That disorder causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It causes physical and mental abilities to deteriorate, usually in the patient’s prime working years, and has no cure. Perhaps the most famous person diagnosed with Huntington’s was Woody Guthrie, the influential folk singer who influenced Bob Dylan and died in 1967 at the age of 55. The faulty gene that causes Huntington’s was identified in 1993. — JONATHAN SALTZMAN