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BOSTON-A local developer has closed on 121 Brookline Ave. here with plans to build a six-story life sciences building on the site. An affiliate of Boylston Properties paid $8.7 million for the asset from 121 Brookline Ave. LLC.

Boylston Properties founder William McQuillan did not return phone calls from GlobeSt.com regarding the acquisition by BAM Lab LLC, but his firm has indicated a desire to begin construction in early 2008 on what is being called the Longwood Research Center. A few blocks down from Fenway Park, 121 Brookline Ave. is also close to the city’s Longwood Medical Area, one of the country’s top areas for biotechnology and medical research.

McQuillan’s experience of development in the Longwood Medical Area dates back to the late 1980s. Besides the Longwood Galleria, Boylston Properties also did a joint venture multifamily project, Trilogy, just a few blocks from 121 Brookline Ave. Headed by McQuillan and Mark Deschenes, Boylston Properties is based at the nearby Prudential Center complex in Boston’s Back Bay.

BAM Lab LLC has retained Richards Barry Joyce & Partners as exclusive leasing agent for the 121 Brookline Ave. project, with veteran life sciences broker and RBJ president Robert Richards Jr. overseeing that effort with VP Chris McCauley. Richards was unavailable to discuss the venture or to provide a timetable for construction, although sources say the ownership is waiting to land a lead tenant before breaking ground. King Stubbins is architect for the Longwood Research Center, while John Moriarity & Associates has been tapped as contractor.

The Longwood Research Center is advancing at a time when laboratory space is especially tight in Boston, posting a 1% vacancy rate for 2.6 million sf, according to a report released yesterday by Colliers Meredith & Grew. “Availability of lab space in the [Longwood Medical Area] is virtually non-existent,” the report indicates, although the review also notes that there is considerable space in the planning stages or about to become available as a result of relocations.

The 1% vacancy, for example, does not reflect 702,000 sf that will come on line later this quarter at the Center for Life Sciences at 3 Blackfan Circle. The facility was acquired last year by BioMed Realty Trust 82% preleased, leaving approximately 126,000 sf still to be filled. Meanwhile, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s move into the BioMed asset will free up 225,000 sf from multiple locations in the area. BioMed rival Also, Alexandria Real Estate has recently joined National Development and Charles River Realty Investors in pursuing a nine-story, 350,000-sf project at the corner of Brookline and Longwood avenues.

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