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Revamping of Former Boston Globe Headquarters May Be Completed By July

Posted By: Boston City Properties

If you’ve been in Dorchester lately, you have probably noticed big changes happening at the former site of the Boston Globe headquarters on Morrissey Boulevard. Nordblom Co., the lead developer of the redevelopment of the newspaper’s former HQ, recently announced that it is avidly seeking tenants for the upcoming urban innovation campus. Dubbed the BEAT – the Boston Exchange for Accelerated Technology – the 16.5-acre site will boast a 695,000-square-foot development with 360,000 square feet of office space and 360,000 square feet of flexible, light industrial and lab space.

Boston Globe Photo Courtesy: Nordblom Company

It’s hard to miss the burgeoning new development at 135 Morrissey, which is in close proximity of I-93 and the Savin Hill and JFK/UMass Red Line stations. Already being called the next Kendall Square and touted as a “genius factory,” the site has been under development since late 2018. Last summer, a huge water tank on the site designed by Dorchester firm Best Dressed Signs became emblazed with the BEAT logo. Steelwork was completed around that time as well, and the windows and brick facades were in place in November. According to Nordblom, the project is poised to wrap up by July – and the firm is seeking tenants to fill the hotly anticipated space.

In addition to offering copious amounts of office, light industrial and lab space, the tech-life sciences hub will include space for a craft brewery and beer garden. Parking for 868 cars and 200 bicycles will also be included, allowing for employees to easily gain access to the site and to spend additional time there before and after work. Indeed, like similar sites – including Cambridge’s Kendall Square and the under-development Exchange South End, which is located a few neighborhoods away – the BEAT will attempt to attract tenants with prime amenities and offerings for employees.

An additional hint as to the types of tenants that Nordblom is eyeing for the site can be found in its very name. The Boston Exchange for Accelerated Technology strongly implies a preference for tech-life sciences firms – and there is plenty of need for such space across the city. The name is also clever in that “the beat” can also refer to the work that journalists at the former Globe HQ once performed at the site. The homage is fitting, to be sure, and it is also snappy enough to make it easy to market.

Developers are spending an estimated $300 million to gut and rehabilitate the site of the former Globe headquarters, and that is certain to be evident in the design and layout of the hub. Nordblom is still seeking out a craft brewery to occupy the relevant space, and the development is also expected to include prime amenities like a rooftop deck; a fitness center; an indoor mini basketball court; a food hall; and a golf simulator. After being occupied by the storied newspaper for more than six decades, the site will now compete with hubs like Kendall Square and is indeed being referred to as the “next Kendall Square.”

The Globe may have abandoned the site for new digs in downtown Boston in the middle of 2017, but its mark will continue to be felt for as long as the new development remains in existence. In addition to the clever name, the BEAT is likely to also incorporate elements of the former headquarters and to include characteristics that hark back to the site’s long-running journalism history. Given the new sign and flashy logo, branding for the development is sure to be prominently displayed throughout it – and this should help to lend it a cohesive and attractive style that will appeal to tenants like medical robotics labs, architectural firms and 3-D printing firms.

What does the development of the BEAT mean for commercial real estate in Boston? It is sure to help with the staggeringly low vacancy rates for tech-life sciences space, which have been a problem for many years running. If you own a company in that sphere and are interested in acquiring space at the BEAT, Boston City Properties can help. With Nordblom actively seeking tenants, now is the time to act – so contact us today for more information.

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