Bringing Arts and Culture to the Hub of the Life Sciences Industry

by Don Martelli | Public Affairs
February 28, 2020

Over the years, the Belfort Group team has worked on many real estate development projects in and around Greater Boston. Our portfolio includes mixed-use, residential and commercial projects. More recently, we have worked on a number of cannabis related developments and even found our niche in helping mall owners bring new visions for their properties to life.

Our most recent project is one that we are very proud of—bringing arts and culture to the epicenter of the life sciences industry in Kendall Square, Cambridge.

In 2018, our client BioMed Realty purchased an empty, 1-acre lot for $50.5 million (585 Third Street, Cambridge, MA). The previous owner, a nonprofit called the Constellation Charitable Foundation, tried to build a performing arts complex there, but it never came to fruition.

Enter BioMed Realty and their vision of a beautiful, 250-foot, three-tiered lab tower featuring 40,000 square feet of public arts and culture space on the first three floors. The building will live within the 10 acres of land along the Broad Canal that BioMed also owns, a budding neighborhood recently rebranded as the Canal District.

Over 8 months ago, the Belfort Group Public Affairs team was brought on to develop and implement a public campaign aimed at garnering Input, to inform the proposal for this 35,865-square-foot lot. With that accomplished, we will now transition Into helping Biomed with the process of securing a rezoning and special permit. Construction is slated for March 2022 for an opening in late 2024.

Design renderings show a fluid, multicolored building, which is very unique within the Kendall Square area and aligns with the Canal District’s brand. The building will feature a terraced structure with curved facades and thirteen stories of lab space. Beneath this research tower will be 40,000 square feet of publicly accessible green space, open space, and arts and culture facilities, including a 300-seat “jewelbox” theater, encased In glass and suspended over the main lobby.

Our Public Affairs group takes on tough assignments—projects that are high risk, high reward in nature. While lab space in Kendall Square is not inherently controversial, finding the right balance of height, mass, rezoning requests, and public amenities is a difficult balancing act. We are proud to be a part of this special project, which has been well-received by the community thus far and look forward seeing it approved later this year.

If you are a developer, please consider giving us a call as you bring your project to the community. When managed properly, these grassroots efforts can produce real-estate projects that communities can get behind and be proud of.

Check out some of the media coverage our team secured related to the project:

The Boston Globe
In this new office building, Kendall Square may get some culture

Banker and Tradesman
BioMed Unveils Kendall Square Development Plans

The Cambridge Chronicle
BioMed unveils proposal for 16-story building with arts venue in Kendall

Cambridge Day
Gas transfer station is removed in proposal for 250-foot lab tower with public arts space

PREVIOUS
Believe it or not, PR can Drive Business Leads

Related Articles