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CAMBRIDGE, MA-It seems not everybody is heading for the exits after all. While several high-profile departures from the pricey laboratory market here have already taken place or are being threatened, a flurry of activity is ending the first quarter on a high note for Cambridge landlords, as more than 50,000 sf in space is taken down by a quartet of up-and-coming life sciences companies.

The largest of those transactions is a renewal for just under 20,000 sf at 38 Sidney St., part of the 27-acre University Park at MIT mixed-use complex in Central Square. Ore Pharmaceuticals, formerly Gene Logic, is engaged in repositioning clinical-stage drugs that have stalled in development. Forest City Enterprises is the owner of University Park, which features 1.5 million sf of research space. The landlord was represented by Meredith & Grew EVP Joseph Flaherty and VP Tucker Hansen.

The remaining three companies each committed to slightly more than 10,000 sf, led by IntelligentMD leasing 10,750 sf at 19 Blackstone St. Joule Biotechnologies is right behind in snagging 10,500 sf at 83 Rogers St. in the emerging Life Science Square, and Aileron Therapeutics is subleasing 10,100 sf at 840 Memorial Dr., also known as the Riverside Technology Center.

“These exciting, young companies are reflective of the activity we are seeing in Cambridge,” says Cushman & Wakefield executive director Mark Winters, who brokered all four deals on behalf of the tenants along with colleagues Juliette Reiter and David Townsend.

According to Winters, “the most active segment of the Cambridge market involves early- to mid-stage, venture-backed companies,” a source of demand that continues to keep fundamentals in the city among the strongest in Greater Boston. The leases also reflect velocity is robust outside the core Kendall Square district, from where Aileron Therapeutics is departing. Owned by the Abbey Group of Boston, Riverside Technology Center is situated along the Charles River close to Harvard Square, the same submarket where 19 Blackstone St. is located. That property, branded Blackstone Square, is owned by another Boston real estate investor, Centremark Properties. Joule Biotechnologies will be just outside Kendall Square at 83 Rogers St. which is owned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Financial terms for the four leases were not divulged, but laboratory facilities in Cambridge have been renting well above $50 per sf on a triple net basis and into the $70 per sf range in certain instances. The Riverside Technology Center sublease is in space under contract to Amgen Inc.

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