Public Affairs Campaign Secures Town Approval for Biotech Real Estate Campus Development

The Opportunity

Biotech companies often require rather large spaces for their unique operations, designed with their specific requirements in mind, and finding locations within Greater Boston that can meet these demands can be a difficult task. Massachusetts based real estate developer, Patriot Partners, LLC, purchased the former world headquarters of Raytheon Corporation in Lexington, Massachusetts with the intention of creating a biotechnology campus on the 96.5-acre site. The developers soon renamed the site Lexington Technology Park and selected BG to assist in gaining approval for development plans from the Town of Lexington.

The Strategy

The size and design of the former Raytheon headquarters made it an attractive candidate for redevelopment as a biotech center; however, Lexington residents and town planners had to approve plans that would create 630,000 square feet of office/manufacturing/lab space. BG embarked on a community relations campaign designed to inform and educate Lexington residents and Town Officials of the features of the proposed redevelopment of Lexington Technology Park. Hosting an informational ‘Open House’ and a bus tour of the site encouraged two-way communication between the developer and key decision makers while educating interested parties about the project specifics. BG also launched a media relations campaign to promote the various benefits Lexington would gain from this project.

The Result

Key media placements in the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Lexington Minuteman and the Banker & Tradesman generated positive visibility for the development and on April 7th, 2004, Lexington Town Meeting members overwhelmingly approved, by a vote of 170-1, the proposed development plans. In the end, a working relationship was created whereby concerns over safety, traffic impact, designated open spaces and effects on town services were mitigated. Throughout Town Meeting proceedings, Patriot Partners was applauded by Town Officials and residents for their commitment and willingness to work closely with the community to develop Lexington Technology Park.