Bulfinch Announces Grand Opening of Building 400-500 at Cambridge Discovery Park

BOSTON, MA – June 17, 2020

The Bulfinch Companies, Inc. (Bulfinch), a private, real estate investment, development and management firm, announces the grand opening of Building 400-500, the new state-of-the-art, seven-story, 286,000 SF Class A lab, R&D and office building at Cambridge Discovery Park (CDP). 

The grand opening of Building 400-500 marks the completion of the 800,000-square foot Cambridge Discovery Park project as laboratory, office and R&D space that incorporates five buildings and an AC Marriott Hotel at Building 600 (the AC Marriott). The prestigious roster of tenants includes Forrester Research (FORR), The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), and Genocea Biosciences. The development also includes two parking garages totaling 1,120 parking spaces. The property is located in an opportunity zone. 

As the culmination of West Alewife’s life science cluster is complete, tenants can now enjoy all that the CDP campus has to offer as one of the largest campuses in Cambridge (behind MIT and Harvard), sprawled across 27 acres of lush, coveted green space. Surrounded by The Alewife Brook Reservation, the property boasts outdoor amenities including walking trails, a soccer field, a volleyball court, and the historic Minuteman Bikeway, America’s revolutionary rail trail that connects Alewife to Bedford, running through historic cities like Lexington and Arlington along the way.  

Bulfinch has been a steward for conservation and sustainability of the Alewife Brook Reservation and all buildings have incorporated sustainable green practices, with Building 400-500 achieving LEED Gold Certification, and Building 200-300 also having achieved LEED GOLD. CDP has also partnered with the city of Cambridge to offer both Blue Bikes, and multiple bike maintenance stations, given the proximity to all of the local trails. Nearly 150 garaged bike spaces are available for commuter use.  

Tenants will enjoy amenities from two state-of-the-art cafes that include conferencing capabilities, private dining areas and teleconference technologies, and overlook green open space.  Two fitness centers with state-of-the-art-equipment, including yoga studios, distinguish Cambridge Discovery Park.  All complement the existing park amenities including the European style, sleek and modern AC Marriott’s 4,500 sq. ft. of dynamic meeting space, restaurant and bar, and heated, salt water infused pool, a fire pit, and plenty of open outdoor seating benches. 

Cambridge Discovery Park offers easy accessibility via car and local transit. Adjacent to Route 2, it provides easy access to the bustling Route 128 corridor, Boston, and Logan Airport. The Alewife MBTA Red Line Station is only a short walk through the Reservation, or a five-minute shuttle ride. There is currently a residential boom surrounding CDP with 2,245 existing units within a half-mile radius, including the recently sold Royal Belmont apartments (for $100m) and Vox on 2, and an additional 667 apartments under construction or proposed adjacent to the property.

Bulfinch continued its longstanding relationship with general contractor John Moriarty & Associates, Inc. (JMA), who constructed all of the buildings on the property. Boston based architectural firm Stantec, who master planned the project in 2004, was the architect. The developments were facilitated by Bulfinch on a fast-track construction schedule for timely completion during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At opening, the property is 88% leased with approximately 33,000 SF of remaining availability on the sixth floor (in addition to 1,292 SF of first floor chemical storage). The sixth-floor tenant will enjoy a private roof deck with superior views of the nature-filled Alewife Reservation and unobstructed views of Cambridge and Boston. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulfinch has adapted centralized leasing guidelines at the 400-500 property and continues to promote the sixth-floor space through virtual tours. Peter Berkarian, Managing Director at JLL, is coordinating leasing efforts of the space alongside Bulfinch’s SVP and Director of Leasing Mike Wilcox.

Bulfinch has devised a number of operational changes at the property to minimize the spread of pathogens. In addition to increased sanitation of all public spaces, they have provided protective glass partitions for reception desks, plastic covers on elevator buttons, and updated UV lighting with photo ionization in select areas and Merv 13 where possible.  Bulfinch provides an on-site EMT and screening procedures.  All CDP buildings remain open, operational, and accessible 24/7 to tenants, and as tenants have moved into building 400-500, Bulfinch has implemented protocols including temperature taking, the required wearing of masks, and daily, personnel health surveys.  

In the first quarter of 2020, FogPharma and LifeMine Therapeutics, both existing CDP tenants, moved into Building 400-500, occupying the entirety of Building 400 of approximately 120,000 SF. They were followed by Simcere Innovation, Inc. (Simcere) in February which occupies approximately 27,000 SF on the second floor of Building 500. 

Arbor Biotechnologies moved into approximately 36,000 SF of space on the fifth floor in Building 400-500 in April. Arbor is an early-stage company pushing the boundaries of biodiscovery by unlocking nature’s genetic diversity to create transformative products in human health and sustainability. At present, Arbor moved into the building as an essential business, as they research CRISPR enzymes and their use in diagnostics, in particular COVID diagnostics. 

John Moriarty & Associates is finalizing the third and fourth floor spaces totaling 70,000 sf for Kintai Therapeutics (Kintai), who is in the process of moving in. Kintai is also an essential business at this time, actively researching therapeutic treatments and preventative biotechnologies for the COVID-19 virus. Kintai has a portfolio of more than ten programs focused on multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, and immunology. 

Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, Flagship and Arch – owners of Arbor Biotechnologies and Kintai Therapeutics, Inc. – recently announced that they have raised over $2 billion combined. 

“We are proud to provide safe, quality workspaces for our country’s essential businesses to continue to operate during this unprecedented time,” stated Eric Schlager, CEO of Bulfinch. “For Arbor and Kintai, we have collaborated closely on protocols for move-in. Ensuring a timely, seamless process during the pandemic was of upmost importance, as the life science industry continues to provide critical research at this time.”

Harrison Street is a financial partner in the project, and has worked closely with Bulfinch on several life science projects in Greater Boston. Citizens Commercial Real Estate Finance team is leading the construction loan for CDP Building 400-500 and serving as the administrative agent. National Development/Indure is also a joint venture partner of Bulfinch.In lieu of a grand opening event, and in an effort to further support medical first responders during this difficult time, Bulfinch has donated a portion of the postponed grand opening event proceeds to the Brigham & Women’s Hospital COVID-19 Response Fund. This flexible fund allows Brigham & Women’s Hospital to care for patients with suspected or confirmed illness, care for caregivers and staff on the frontlines, keep patients and loved ones connected virtually, and help to fuel innovative science for testing and treatment.