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CAMBRIDGE-The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has recently completed construction on 300 Technology Square, one of a group of buildings and parcels that the University purchased from Beacon Capital Partners Inc. for $279 million in February 2001. In deciding to redesign the 175,000 sf of space from office to laboratory space the University undertook the painstaking tasks of ensuring that ceiling height, floor loads and technical upgrades were all up to the latest building codes.

But the expensive gamble appears to be paying off. Two tenants have already signed long-term leases for space. Dyax Corp. is moving and expanding their company from Kendall Square in Cambridge, leasing 91,000 sf that they hope to occupy by the Jan. 1. ToleRX Inc. another pharma company has just signed a 10-year lease for 37,000 sf of space. Both companies are doing their own build outs and an industry source tells Globest.com that lab-space in Cambridge rents for around $60 a sf on a triple net lease.

The first floor of the 300 Technology Square building will have about 18,000 sf of retail space. Stephen Lynch, senior managing director of Insignia/ESG Inc., who represented MIT in the transactions, tells Globest.com that though the remaining space in the building is not yet committed “it is actively under consideration.”

The lab-space market in the Cambridge area remains strong because construction has not kept up with need in the area, largely as a result of the Cambridge Zoning Board’s rigorous and time-consuming approval process. Lynch tells Globest.com that demand for lab-space is being driven not only by the local pharmaceuticals but also by national and international company’s looking to establish research facilities and headquarters in the Cambridge area. It is this demand that MIT is anticipating with its construction of a 258,000-sf research space next door to 300 Technology Square to be completed by late spring or early summer of 2002.

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