Image courtesy Elkus Manfredi Architects

General Electric’s scrapped plans for a new headquarters tower will open up new opportunities for life science growth in Boston’s Seaport District with the approval of a 316,750-square-foot office-lab building at 15 Necco St.

National Development and Alexandria Real Estate Equities are partnering on the project, which received approval by Boston Planning & Development Agency directors on Thursday.

GE had gained approval for a distinctive office tower and company museum on the site in 2019, part of former CEO Jeff Immelt’s vision to reshape the company’s image in its relocation from Fairfield, Connecticut. But following Immelt’s ouster, CEO Lawrence Culp scrapped the project and the current owners acquired the property for $252 million in May 2019.

The new designs by Elkus Manfredi Architects include lab-ready infrastructure reflecting the Seaport District’s recent emergence as a potent new life science market.

Recent large leases have been signed by Vertex at Related Beal’s Innovation Square on Tide Street, Foundation Medicine at WS Development’s 400 Summer St. and CRISPR Therapeutics at Tishman Speyer’s The 105 spec project at 105 West First St. 

As part of the 15 Necco public benefits agreement, developers will provide 4,400 square feet of ground floor space as a public work lounge with WiFi and seating, pay for open space improvements on two nearby parcels that are part of the 100 Acres Open Space plan, create a $250,000 attraction such as a public art installation in Fort Point Channel, contribute $10,000 a year for other watersheet attractions and add sidewalks between Necco Court and Melcher Street.

The project will be one of the early participants in the city of Boston’s coastal resiliency strategy, as the Environment Department prepares designs of a 6-foot earthen berm on the eastern side of Fort Point Channel designed to repel storm surges that are expected to worsen in coming decades.

15 Necco Development Joins Lab Space Pipeline

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min