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CAMBRIDGE, MA-Constellation Productions Inc. has acquired a one-acre site in the heart of Kendall Square on which it will build Constellation Center, an 85,000-sf performing arts and film center.

Thomas Fanning, a senior project manager at Spaulding & Slye, tells GlobeSt.com that the purchase and sales agreement was signed with Lyme Properties, which is developing Kendall Square into a 1.3-million sf mixed-use development. Philip Pennellatore, of Schneider & Associates, which is representing the theater group, tells Globest.com that the land and development rights were acquired for $8 million. The estimated cost of the center is $65 million to $70 million.

The project, scheduled to break ground in 20004, involves four halls with total seating for 1500 people and related supporting spaces all housed in a single facility. The largest of the halls will have 800 to1000 seats. The facility will include a large hall for classical and early music; a second hall specifically suited for jazz, folk, gospel and world music; a “Jewel Box” hall for more intimate performances; and lastly, a hall for lectures, seminars and special events.

The center will offer performance spaces for small- and medium-size groups and will include unusually fine acoustic environments for music spanning 15 centuries and multiple cultures, advanced motion picture screening capability plus music recording studio and film post-production space. The large hall will feature the only authentically produced Bach organ outside Eastern Europe and its own genuine theater organ appropriate to accompanying the classic “silents.”

David Clem, managing director for Lyme Properties says, “This is a new concept in mixed-use development, incorporating a cultural center among planned life science research and development, office, retail and residential space.” Clem notes that the center will be the “centerpiece” of Kendall Square, which will also include Genzyme’s world headquarters, biomedical and biotechnology research laboratories, outdoor recreation and performance space, a luxury hotel, housing, a variety of restaurants, retail services and underground parking for 2000 vehicles.

According to Glenn KnicKrehm, president of Constellation Productions, Inc., the center has been in the works for over four years. He says that Boston is lacking in small and medium-sized performance spaces and he adds that the center “will strengthen Boston’s cultural fabric, offering performers an acoustical environment that will invoke heart-pounding, transcendent performances and providing audiences with dynamic programming and transformative musical and motion picture experiences.”

City manager Bob Healy notes that the hope is that the center will “foster a sense of community and re-energize the area” by offering people a reason to stay in the area after working hours. It is also anticipated that the center will draw in people from Boston and “become a major and much-needed cultural destination point for the Kendall Square area.”

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