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BROOKLINE, MA-In what may be the first major biotech laboratory in this Boston suburb, a Boston developer is planning to build a $75-million, 228,000-sf biotech research facility. The project will also combine ground-level retail with a 125-ft tall research facility.

Jeff Levine, assistant director of planning and community development for the town of Brookline, tells GlobeSt.com that Winn Development Co. appears to be “pretty close” to requesting a building permit for the 2 Brookline Place site. That move could allow construction to begin by next spring.

“My impression from talking to them is that they’re pretty close [to requesting a building permit] but they haven’t committed a specific day for filing yet,” Levine says. The development firm also will need a special permit for the project from the Brookline Board of Appeals, he notes.

According to preliminary plans, Winn expects to demolish an existing building on the site, located at the corner of Pearl Street and Route 9, and replace it with 17,600 sf of ground-level retail along with 209,000 sf of research space and a 250- to 400-car parking lot. About 20% of the site will remain as open space.

The structure will be located just a short distance from a cluster of biotech research facilities in the Longwood Medical and Academic area in Boston. Officials from Winn Development did not return several phone calls from GlobeSt.com seeking comment.

Levine, however, tells GlobeSt.com that the project could turn the area into a more pedestrian-friendly district similar to Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village. “This project will really provide a lot of benefits as well as an economic boost.” He notes that it served as a catalyst that made the city look at a master plan for the area.

Levine says the area, dubbed “Gateway East,” needs better infrastructure, including sidewalks, crosswalks and improved landscaping, features that the developer could be required to provide. Winn already has agreed to provide open spaces near the MBTA station and a connection between Brookline Village and the region’s park system as well as overnight parking for Brookline residents in 25% of its on-site parking lot.

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