BOSTON-The Boston Redevelopment Authority gave the thumbs up to the development of an 87,000-sf drug manufacturing facility in the neighborhood of Mattapan on the site of the former Boston State Hospital campus.

The Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories will be located on the southern corner of the 173-acre property, which is centered on the intersection of Morton St. and the American Legion Highway. The project site comprises 21 acres and abuts a residential neighborhood as well as the state’s Audubon Society’s new 67-acre Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary.

The $77-million project is being developed by Franklin Place Associates LLC for the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The building will be one story with the exception of a 13,250-sf portion that will be two stories and will contain the quality control and accessory office functions.

The Biologic Laboratories, which is the only publicly operated, US Food and Drug Administration-licensed vaccine manufacturing facility in the country and the only one of its kind still operated by a state government, outgrew its current facility at 305 South St. in Jamaica Plain and according to the executive summary of the plan “represents an important expansion of its manufacturing capacity.” The new facility will “greatly enhance [the Laboratories'] ability to address significant health needs in the current years” the summary notes. The project is slated to be completed by the end of 2004.

This project represents the first phase of the Laboratories development. Additions totaling 76,900-sf and/or a new building totaling up to 120,000-sf with three to four stories may be constructed over the next 15 years to accommodate similar scientific and office uses. Further approvals will be needed for those additions.

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