Image courtesy of Jacobs

The city of Cambridge’s moratorium on office and lab development in the Alewife Quadrangle is starting to affect the existing development pipeline, as The Davis Cos. withdrew a proposed 280,000-square-foot life science project at 40 Smith Place.

Rival developer Healthpeak Properties’ $625 million acquisition of 36 acres in the Quadrangle prompted Cambridge city councilors to impose a moratorium on new office and lab projects in the neighborhood in May. The once-industrial area off Concord Avenue has attracted a series of large-scale multifamily developments in recent years and proposals for life science projects.

Originally proposed in March, the Davis’ Cos. project would redevelop 40 Smith Place and 45 Wilson Road with a 280,000-square-foot lab building.

The Davis Cos. is withdrawing the project without prejudice, according to an Oct. 14 letter from attorney James J. Rafferty of Cambridge-based Adams & Rafferty.

A Sept. 6 legal opinion by Assistant City Solicitor Nancy Glowa clarified the options for developers and officials during the moratorium, which runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

The moratorium applies both to building permits and special permits, Glowa advised.

The Planning Board is required to accept and review special permit applications during the moratorium, but if it denies a project, the applicant cannot reapply within two years.

If the board approves the withdrawal of an application without prejudice, the applicant can resubmit the project within the two-year period.

A message was left with The Davis Cos. seeking additional details on its future plans for the property.

Moratorium Forces Delay of Alewife Lab Project

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min