Image courtesy of Berkeley Investments

A 203,000-square-foot development by Berkeley Investments seeks to tap into demand for biomanufacturing facilities in the northern suburbs.

Boston-based Berkeley plans to break ground in early 2023 on a 203,000-square-foot facility at 161 Concord Road in Billerica after receiving final approvals for the cGMP project.

Berkeley Investments acquired the vacant 22-acre parcel, part of a site owned by Cabot Corp., in May for $18 million. The firm identified biomanufacturing as the optimal use because of the proximity to the growing life science cluster in northern suburbs, said Morgan Pierson, Berkeley Investments’ director of development. Asking rents for some local biomanufacturing facilities have exceeded $70 per square foot.

“We think this is a really strong location for this use, given the proximity to other life science users in Billerica as well as Bedford and Lexington,” he said.

Commercial sites in suburban office and industrial parks have become a desirable location for new cGMP facilities, as life science companies in Greater Boston seek domestic locations for drug production.

Boston-based King Street Properties is developing a biomanufacturing campus at the Devens business park, offering turnkey biomanufacturing space including a “Cleanrooms on Demand” facility operated by Azzur Group.

Developers and economic development officials anticipate that the Biden administration’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative will accelerate investment in life science facilities, with Greater Boston positioned to strengthen its role as a global industry hub.

Berkeley Investments’ Billerica facility will include a mix of high-bay biomanufacturing, office and lab space, Pierson said. It’s designed to accommodate up to four tenants, including both pharmaceutical companies and contract manufacturers.

“This is a specialized box, but at the end of the day it’s a core-and-shell that anticipates a lot of the work being done through the tenant fit-out and improvement process,” Pierson said.

Berkeley Investments Targets Drug Manufacturing Growth in Billerica

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min