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BOSTON-The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved Blackfan Research Center, a 575,000-sf biomedical research space project being developed by Lyme Properties in collaboration with the Harvard Institute of Medicine.

The move comes on the heels of the National Institutes of Health award of a $120 million grant to Boston University for the National Bio-Containment Lab and the city’s hiring of a biotech specialist to lure additional biotech companies to set up shop in the city. The city says the research space project will “further Boston’s reputation as a national leader in the biotech and life sciences industry.”

The $120 million project will be located at 3 Blackfan Circle between Blackfan Street and Longwood Avenue in the Longwood Medical Area, home to a large concentration of medical and academic institutions. The center will be on a 45,575-sf parcel currently occupied by the Judge Baker Children’s Center. Judge Baker sold the site to Lyme over two years ago, and it is using the proceeds to relocate to another site in the city. Judge Baker’s five-story building will be demolished as part of the new project.

The new center will consist of a 280,000 sf of lab and related space, 120,000 sf of office space and 300 parking spaces in a 298-ft building. The project also involves the development of a public space to be called Blackfan Square and Lyme will provide funding to design and construct an extension of Blackfan Circle to Louis Pastuer Avenue.

The city will receive between $2 million and $3 million annually in taxes from the research center. The Judge Baker Children’s Center was a non-taxable institution. In addition, Lyme Properties will pay $2.2 million in housing linkage payments to the city and $432,000 in job training linkage payments.

The city notes that the Blackfan Research Center’s approval also comes in the wake of the development of the BRA’s LMA Interim Guidelines, an outline of development principles which address issues such as transportation, housing, urban design and workforce development. The city says the guidelines were designed “to balance the needs of the LMA institutions to grow and remain competitive, with the needs and quality of life issues of the surrounding community impacted by the development.”

The Blackfan Research Center will join a number of nearby research and life science projects recently developed or currently under construction in the LMA including: the under-construction Merck Research Laboratories, the new Harvard Institutes of Medicine which celebrated its grand opening a few weeks ago, and the Children’s Hospital Research Building, also currently under construction.

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