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CAMBRIDGE, MA-A two-building complex near Kendall Square that combines office space with laboratory space turned out to be just the right fit for CombinatoRx. The biopharmaceutical firm was looking to expand and relocate to the area’s biotech corridor.

The company, presently located in Boston’s Bio Square on Albany Street, will become one of the 245 First St. complex’s largest tenants when it moves into a total of 40,130 sf in the Cambridge Science Center next summer, once build-out is completed on its new laboratory, Maryann Gilligan Suydam, a senior vice president with building owner Equity Office, tells GlobeSt.com. The long-term lease gives CombinatoRx 18,035 sf of office space and 22,095 sf of lab space in two interconnected buildings.

“There’s no doubt Cambridge was a driver” in the move, Gilligan Suydam says. But it was the Cambridge Science Center, she notes, that will enable the company to keep office and laboratory employees separate but in close proximity to each other. CombinatoRx “really liked the idea of having employees that were office focused in one area and the lab component in another.”

The complex itself is somewhat of an anomaly for Equity Office, which owns 13 million sf of primarily office space here and in Boston and the surrounding suburbs. Although originally built as offices, Equity Office saw a niche market for biotech firms that wanted both office and lab components and so it renovated the 18-story tower and the connecting six-story laboratory building in 2004. Today, office space in the two-building property is more than 90% leased at rates ranging in the high $20s per sf gross. The six-story laboratory building, which generally rents in the high $40 per sf triple net, will see occupancy rise to around 70% once CombinatoRx moves in early next summer.

The lease was negotiated for the tenant by Steve Purpura of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners. Duncan Gratton, managing director of leasing for Equity Office, represented the property owner.

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