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BURLINGTON, MA-The Gutierrez Co.–a locally based development company–is building a 600,000-sf biotechnology and research facility here. The project is receiving local approval and permits for the rezoning of the land to be used specifically for biotech. According to Richards Barry Joyce & Partners LLC–the leasing agent for the project–the specific needs regarding water usage, waste disposal and sewage meant the project was not able to begin until the proper permits were approved.

“This has been a fairly long process,” Scott Weiss, managing director of commercial real estate for Gutierrez, tells GlobeSt.com. “[It] started a year and a half to two years ago, with rezoning the land for biotech use.” The culmination arrived on the local level this month, he continues, with receipt of permits that will allow the project.

The property–located at 43-63 South Ave.–will be comprised of office space, retail space and a restaurant, and biotechnology space in three multi-level buildings ranging from five to eight stories. Each building, according to Weiss, will be roughly 190,000 sf to 200,000 sf, possibly to be built in phases. The advantage of staggering the completion of buildings is that it allows tenants to move in earlier. Weiss explains that the buildings are flexible to a tenants needs are able to be subdivided or fully-leased to a large enough client.

The project will not break ground until they begin leasing tenants, but once there are tenants in place, Gutierrez plans to deliver the site 18 months later. According to Gutierrez, the development company has not cost-developed the project as yet, but sees no large concern finding tenants for the space.

“We have a pretty strong and positive feeling about both the Burlington market as well as the biotech market,” Weiss explains. “Both have been showing good signs of growth and strength in the past six months, even a year…We think it’s the right type of use and in the right location.”

The property will be the largest development with research and biotech approval in the North 128 submarket. A 277,671 sf facility–650 E. Kendall St.–is delivering in Q4 of 2008 in the Kendall Square/East Cambridge submarket, offering a class A gross rental rate of $58.76 per sf, according the Q2 Cushman and Wakefield Cambridge Office and Lab Market report. Cambridge numbers will skew slightly higher than North 128 prices for comparable property.

Gutierrez is a Burlington, MA-based development and management company. Richards Barry Joyce–a Boston-based real estate firm–will be the sole leasing agent for the property, led by Jonathan Varholak, partner, Ron Friedman, vice president of RBJ.

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