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BOSTON-Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will build a $300-million complex on a major block in the Longwood Medical area. The move will give the cancer clinic a stronger presence in the city’s key medical district.

The project, designed by architects Zimmer Gunsul Fransca Partnership of Portland, OR, will put 400,000 sf of research laboratories, outpatient treatment facilities and ground-floor retail space on the corner of Brookline Avenue and Jimmy Fund Way. It will increase the institution’s space by a third once it is completed by 2011. The cancer center last project was a 230,000-sf research center completed in 1987.

The construction would entail demolishing two low-rise buildings on Brookline Avenue and building on one of the last surface parking lots in the area. Officials say it will raise the profile of the cancer institute along Brookline Avenue, where its facilities are largely hidden from pedestrians by nearby buildings and give it easier access to that roadway.

Dana-Farber also says it is developing an institutional master plan that would delineate long-term goals and facility needs in an effort to coordinate with other tenants in the area. The Longwood Medical and Academic Area is currently the site of several major projects, including a 700,000-sf, $300-million research facility that is being built by Lyme Properties LLC. About half of that building has already been leased to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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