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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Waltham among new suburban biotech centers


Life sciences companies repelled by Cambridge's high rents are landing in Lexington, Woburn, and Waltham, where vacancies are high and rents about 30 percent lower, Globe NorthWest reports today.

Since 2004, Cambridge's biopharmaceutical industry, anchored by Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research Inc., has been recovering from the economic downturn of the early 2000s, when many companies closed up shop.

Today, real estate analysts say, top-shelf space for larger companies is tightening in the Cambridge market, and certain suburban markets are poised to attract the less-endowed, smaller start-up companies, or those with a maturing work force ready for a less urban setting.

"The Route 2 corridor really became a life sciences corridor in the suburbs," said Robert Richards, president of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners , a Boston-based commercial real estate company. "We are running into more and more companies who are saying, 'We don't need to be in Cambridge. . . . We want to be a world-class suburban site.' "

-- Joyce Pellino Crane

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