January 31, 2022
The team behind the redevelopment of the former Boston Globe headquarters is planning to add a building to its Morrissey Boulevard property.
Officials from Beacon Capital Partners and Nordblom Company met with Savin Hill neighbors last week inside the former Globe headquarters at 135 Morrissey Boulevard, which the developers overhauled and rechristened The BEAT, short for Boston Exchange for Accelerated Technology and a nod to the “beat” reporters who once worked in the Globe’s newsroom. Construction was finished in August 2021.
At the preliminary meeting, which was also attended by District 3 Councillor Frank Baker, the developers laid out plans for a six-story building spanning roughly 295,000 square feet that would focus on biotech space. The biotech sector is generating high demand for space in Massachusetts, with industry projections calling for 20 million square feet of lab and biomanufacturing space built out by 2024. In the last decade, 21.6 million square feet of lab space has been built.
The proposed building would be positioned behind the BEAT, according to meeting attendees, on a space located between I-93 and Patten’s Cove, a wetland area. Several dead-end streets, such as Savin Hill Court and Wave Avenue, are to its south.
Nordblom bought the former Globe headquarters in 2017 for $81 million and sought to redevelop the building into a creative office, lab, and retail space spanning 695,000 square feet. The overall parcel that The BEAT sits on is 16.6 acres and is steps from the Red Line and JFK/UMass MBTA Station, and a short ride away from Cambridge’s Kendall Square, which is a biotech industry hotspot that is tight on space.
Flagship Pioneering, a venture capital firm focused on the biotech sector, and fitness apparel company Nobull, were in talks to lease space inside The BEAT. Attendees of the preliminary meeting on the new building were told that a third of The BEAT space has been leased. The development team has previously said they expect tenant companies to move into the space this spring.
David Manfredi, the CEO and founding principal of the architectural firm Elkus Manfredi, also attended last week’s neighborhood meeting with some renderings of the building, as did Todd Fremont Smith, Nordlbom’s senior vice president of development and director of mixed-use projects.
Members of the development team were not immediately available for comment. The team has not yet filed paperwork with the Boston Planning and Development Agency.
If developers go ahead with the project, it means more cranes dotting the skies of Dorchester. DotBlock, a project that involves 480 residential units in the Glover’s Corner section of the neighborhood, by Dorchester Avenue and Hancock Street, is steadily rising. Dorchester Bay City, which involves a massive commercial, residential and lab project on Columbia Point, is undergoing scrutiny from city planning and development officials.
Two residential complexes, totaling 459 units, are set to go up between Morrissey Boulevard and I-93, down by Boston Bowl. The “Neponset Wharf” project, recently approved by the board of the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) in January, will add 120 residential units and office space, along with some retail and an overhauled marina.