"We have already received a high level of interest in thebuilding," reports Richards Barry Joyce & Partners PresidentRobert Richards, who negotiated the recent sale of 121 Brookline Ave.for $8.7 million, a transaction previously reported by GlobeSt.com.The so-called Longwood Research Center is especially attractivegiven its close proximity to the Longwood Medical Area, Richardsexplains, noting that the LMA is a nationally known hub for lifesciences research and medical care.

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Boylston Properties President William McQuillan terms theventure "an excellent investment," particularly in being fullypermitted for construction. "We look forward to the successfulcompletion of this project," says McQuillan, whose firm hasretained Richards and RBJ VP Chris McCauley as exclusive leasingagents for the LRC.

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The seller of the property, Paul Mattes, concurs that the LMAhelped boost interest among buyers. LMA denizens include the likesof Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children's Medical Centerand Dana Farber Cancer Center. "The RBJ team did a fantastic job ofidentifying and then interfacing with potential purchasers," Mattesadds. "Their knowledge of the life sciences real estate marketproved quite valuable."

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Construction of the LRC could help alleviate a dearth ofavailable lab space in Boston, with RBJ estimating the vacancy ratefor 2.48 million sf of space, is just 1.7% at the end of the firstquarter. The scant supply is cited in the latest issue of RBJ'sbioSTATus for just 86,000 sf of positive net absorption in Bostonduring the past three years, and RBJ's semi-annual report ofGreater Boston's laboratory market says the result in Boston wasnegative 15,000 sf during the fourth quarter of 2007 and firstquarter of 2008. Comparatively, Cambridge has absorbed 1.3 millionsf of lab space during the last three years.

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Relief could soon be on the way, however, given 140,000 sf thatwill be available when the 700,000 Center for Life Sciences Bostonopens in the third quarter in the heart of the LMA. The city alsorecently approved a 336,000-sf laboratory building next to theJoslin Diabetes Center, although it will not be delivered until2011.

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