Monday, November 11, 2019

Seaport Square Project Changes from Residential to Offices

The Boston Planning and Development Agency has approved WS Development’s plan to switch plans for its project at 350 Summer Street in Seaport Square from a residential conversion to 384,000 square feet of office and lab space.

Per the developer’s original September request, the building will be comprised of approximately 384,000 square feet of office and/or research and development uses and about 38,000 square feet of restaurant, entertainment, and retail space.

The building had been slated to host 350,000 square feet of residential and 72,000 square feet of restaurant-entertainment-retail.

WS Development has a potential office tenant lined up already too. Foundation Medicine, a Cambridge-based life sciences firm that has already leased 580,000 square feet at WS’ under-construction 400 Summer Street for its new headquarters, has a right of first refusal to take space in 350 Summer Street as well.

The project is the latest major life sciences-related real estate move in the Boston region. 

New projects from Somerville to Watertown and different parts of Boston, including South Boston and Allston, have been drawing interest from numerous biotech firms. 

No surprise, given the industry’s presence regionally—but still notable given that all these projects have been proposed in just the past 12 months.

The shift at 350 Summer Street has raised concerns about the loss of residential units in a Seaport District—and a Boston—that needs housing of all kinds. 

WS said that it would still build the approximately 3,200 units it originally proposed for Seaport Square, in part by shifting the mix of unit types to include smaller, lower-priced units and fewer large luxury units.