Breakthrough Properties Begins Construction of One Canal Life Sciences Property in Cambridge, Massachusetts

by Katie Sloan

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Breakthrough Properties, a joint venture between Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital, has started construction of One Canal by Breakthrough, a life sciences development in Cambridge, roughly two miles from downtown Boston.

The property, situated along the city’s First Street corridor facing Canal Park and the Charles River in the East Cambridge neighborhood, is located adjacent to CambridgeSide — an enclosed regional mall that is being redeveloped to include 650,000 square feet of office, life sciences and residential space — and the 4.5 million-square-foot Cambridge Crossing innovation hub.

One Canal by Breakthrough INTERIOR

A rendering of office space at One Canal by Breakthrough.

Breakthrough acquired the four-story building last year, and is updating it to feature 105,000 square feet of high-quality research and development space. The property will feature a ground-floor lounge, private outdoor gathering spaces, concierge, fitness center, on-site retail and adjacent parking. 

A timeline for the redevelopment — which is targeting Fitwel, WELL and LEED Gold certifications — was not announced.

A flurry of life sciences development is underway in the Boston metropolitan area. Recently announced projects include Phase I of Assembly Innovation Park, a life sciences tower spanning 485,000 square feet in the Boston suburb of Somerville; and Allston LabWorks, a 580,905-square-foot life sciences, retail and multifamily project in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. Financing for both projects made headlines earlier this week.

East Cambridge in particular has a life sciences vacancy rate around just 1 percent, according to Breakthrough. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are within two miles of the One Canal project.

Breakthrough Properties announced earlier this year that it had raised $3 billion in direct capital and co-investments to scale a global portfolio of life sciences properties. The joint venture was founded in 2019 and currently has a pipeline of 4.6 million square feet in development underway.

Projects are located in Boston; San Diego; Philadelphia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Oxford, U.K.; and Cambridge, Mass. In Boston, the company recently delivered The 105 by Breakthrough at 105 West First St., which will serve as CRISPR Therapeutics’ U.S. facility.

Katie Sloan

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