Biotech in the ‘Burbs


As vacancy rates in Cambridge remain low and rents there remain high, one might think that biotech firms unable—or unwilling—to pay the average $55-per-square-foot rate would be left out of the Kendall Square party. The reality, however, is that life sciences firms, large and small, are finding plenty of reasons to venture outside the city. The result—the emergence of thriving biotech communities in the ’burbs.

Related: Lab Space: Is the “Top” Choice the Best Choice?

Low Costs

With rental rates typically one-half to one-third of those in Boston and Cambridge, the suburbs have become an attractive option for many biotech companies. Scientists leasing space in communities like Woburn, Medford, and Beverly are paying $11 to $36 per square foot less than they would in the city. Less money going to overhead means more money for R&D.

Easy Commutes

Gridlock on the roads and no parking (or exorbitant parking) at the office. These are the headaches commuters to the city face every day. Their suburban counterparts save time, money, and their sanity by getting off the highway before it backs up and taking advantage of abundant free parking.

Cummings Center in Beverly has four on-site garages like this one, offering free covered parking to clients and visitors.

Ample Amenities

There’s no denying Kendall Square’s vibrancy; but make no mistake, the suburbs have plenty to offer employees both on and off the clock. Take Washington Street in Woburn, specifically Cummings Park. This thriving business campus features a rich selection of business services and medical offices as well as ethnic restaurants and fitness studios.

Biotech-friendly Communities

Strict requirements for laboratories and clean rooms can slow the process of getting into a new space; but some communities are rolling out the welcome mat for biotech firms. Twenty-six Massachusetts cities and towns, including Beverly and Woburn, have secured Platinum BioReady® status. This means, among other things, that the municipality has expedited permitting policies and pre-permitted biotech sites.

Interested in bringing your biotech firm to the ’burbs? Contact us at (or text 781-983-2211) to learn about available office and lab space at one of Cummings Properties’ suburban locations.