BioMed Realty Acquires Former John Hancock Building in Boston, Plans Life Sciences Conversion

by Alex Tostado

BOSTON — BioMed Realty has acquired the former headquarters of John Hancock Life Insurance Co. in Boston and plans to convert the 14-story building into a life sciences facility.

The building, which is located at 601 Congress St. in the Seaport District, features floor plates ranging from 19,000 to 50,000 square feet, 11 elevators, 14-foot ceilings on the second and third floors, 12-foot ceilings on the fifth through 14th floors, a fitness center, six-story atrium, two rooftop decks, conference center and a café. The property has sat vacant since 2018 when John Hancock consolidated its Boston offices to its building in the Back Bay district.

BioMed, a Blackstone subsidiary, acquired the 485,000-square-foot property from an affiliate of Manulife Investment Management for an undisclosed price. Robert Griffin, Edward Maher, Matthew Pullen and Samantha Hallowell of Newmark brokered the deal.

BioMed says the building is ideal for the planned conversion due to its mechanical and structural infrastructure, collaborative meeting areas and strong visual identity. BioMed is yet to select a general contractor for the conversion project, which the San Diego-based company expects to deliver in the second half of 2022.

The Seaport District is situated along the Boston Main Channel and is three miles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and four miles from Harvard University.

“Greater Boston is rated among the top biotechnology clusters in the world driven by the extraordinary levels of talent, science and capital that are present within our regional life sciences ecosystem,” says Colleen O’Connor, vice president of BioMed Realty. “We are seeing a heightened demand for more space among our existing tenants and new companies entering the market.”

As of Dec. 31, 2020, BioMed owned and operated 11.4 million square feet of life sciences real estate in American cities including Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle, as well as in Cambridge, England.

— Alex Tostado

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