100 Hood Park Drive/Image courtesy of Catamount Management

Developers of speculative life science projects in Charlestown and Waltham and Boston’s largest supportive housing community marked midyear construction milestones for projects totaling over 540,000 square feet.

In Charlestown, the second phase of the 100 Hood Park Drive tower completed its vertical framing. Hood Park owner Catamount Management Corp. is building an addition creating an additional 186,000 square feet of office and lab space.

In recent years, developers have positioned the 20-acre business park at a former dairy plant to attract companies seeking proximity to Kendall Square and its entrepreneurial ecosystem. The property has attracted life science and research tenants including Bluebird Bio, Mori, Solid Biosciences, Indigo and Advent Technologies.

The initial phase of 100 Hood Park Drive, completed in 2020, includes 61,139 square feet of lab space above a 900-space parking garage. The latest phase includes a 5-story, 186,000-square-foot office-lab addition.

In Waltham, Anchor Line Partners and Northwood Investors are promoting an extensive amenity package as they seek tenants for a 262,000-square-foot speculative lab building.

The 6-story structure at 245 Fifth Ave. will include a 18,000-square-foot amenity center including game rooms, a food truck hall and co-working lounges.

Construction commenced in 2021 after developers received $277 million in construction financing from RBC Real Estate Capital Corp.

Since 2021, tenant requirements for lab space in Greater Boston have declined from 6.5 million square feet to 1 million square feet, according to Newmark data, as venture capital financing declines and biotechs conserve their existing cash.

Greater Boston’s office and life science construction pipeline remains far and away the nation’s biggest, according to a new Commercial Edge report.

Greater Boston has 15.2 million square feet of office and life science development, compared with under 9 million square feet in Manhattan and 8 million square feet in San Francisco.

While hybrid work has sent office vacancy rates above 20 percent in some Boston submarkets, a supply glut also has emerged in the once-thriving life science market.

The retrenchment creates a widening gap between the inventory of life science space – including speculative developments financed before the downturn – and tenant demand.

And in a major residential project progressing in Jamaica Plain, The Community Builders held a topping-off ceremony for what will become Boston’s largest supportive housing facility upon completion.

The developer is partnering with the Pine Street Inn for its 3368 Washington St. project. Designed by RODE Architects and built by Cranshaw Construction, will create 140 apartments for former homeless individuals and 62 income-restricted units for families.

Editor’s note: This report has been updated to correct the square-footage of the latest addition to 100 Hood Park Drive.

Spec Projects Proceed as Tenants Sit on Sidelines

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min
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