One year after forming a firm to acquire, develop and operate life sciences assets, Breakthrough Properties has signed a 263,500-square-foot lease agreement for its first ground-up development, The 105 in Boston’s Seaport District. Located at 105 W. First St., the building will be fully leased by gene editing company CRISPR Therapeutics once it is completed in 2022.
Breakthrough Properties was launched in 2019 by real estate development firm Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital, a biotech investment company. The firm is targeting life science developments in leading tech markets around the globe for companies involved in the biotech, agriculture and nutrition sectors. Breakthrough acquired the Seaport property in July 2019 and broke ground on The 105 four months later. The firm has been working closely with Tishman Speyer’s Boston-based team throughout the process, including site selection, and will continue the close working relationship through the project’s completion.
CRISPR, which currently has its R&D operations in Cambridge, Mass., plans to consolidate various office and laboratory operations in the Greater Boston area into the new Seaport building. The company was founded in 2013 and has grown into a leading gene-editing company focused on developing transformative gene-based medicines for a broad range of diseases. The parent company, CRISPR Therapeutics AG, is headquartered in Zurich and the wholly owned U.S. subsidiary CRISPR Therapeutics also has business offices in San Francisco and London. Officials said this week that the single Boston location should support its anticipated growth for five to seven years from occupancy in 2022. CRISPR also announced Monday in its second-quarter 2020 earnings report that it is building a new cell therapy and manufacturing facility in Framingham, Mass.
Breakthrough Properties CEO Dan Belldegrun said Breakthrough’s mission is to deliver cutting-edge facilities and environments that support companies like CRISPR. He noted in prepared remarks that the company was honored to play a small but supportive role in CRISPR’s future as it develops therapies that change the way we fight disease.
Located on the A Street Corridor, The 105 is located near the Red Line’s Broadway Station and a 10-minute ride from Kendall Square in Cambridge. Designed by the Payette architecture firm to be a best-in-class laboratory asset, Breakthrough will be seeking LEED Gold and Fitwell certifications for the building. Amenities will include a fitness center, indoor bicycle room, outdoor terraces accessible from the second and third floors, meeting space, and a locker room with showers.
Cushman & Wakefield represented CRISPR and Breakthrough was represented by Newmark Knight Frank in the lease transaction.
Last month, Hines also entered the life sciences market, unveiling a new partnership with 2ML Real Estate to develop a biotech and mixed-use hub in Houston. Levit Green will span more than 52 acres and be adjacent to the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest cluster of medical facilities and businesses. 2ML is supplying the land for the project. Preliminary plans call for a mix of research, office, residential, retail and dining uses, along with outdoor amenities and green space.
Hines and Tishman Speyer are among a growing group of commercial real estate developers expanding recently into the burgeoning life sciences sector. Boston Properties teamed up with Alexandria Real Estate Equities in January to develop a 1.7 million-square-foot life science campus in South San Francisco. In October, LaSalle Investment Management took a stake in the San Diego headquarters of Illumina, a DNA sequencing and array-based technologies firm. Last summer, Thor Equities launched its Thor Sciences division to invest in biotech properties.