Spurring Growth on Boston’s Waterfront


New York Times, November 1, 2011

… it is unlikely that the (Boston) waterfront will displace Cambridge

as theArea’s center for life sciences, said Mats Johansson,

the president of Skanska USA Commercial Development, which has started

construction on a $70 million lab in East Cambridge without a tenant.

With Harvard and M.I.T. there, Mr. Johansson said, “Cambridge is a

brainpower market with a mix of biotech, finance and academia;

sectors that will drive the U.S. economy back on track.”

Biogen Idec, a biotech company that seven months ago moved 700 of its

employees to a new 356,000-square-foot campus in suburban Weston, Mass.,

is now having two buildings developed near Kendall Square;

one by Boston Properties, the other by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Ground was broken last week on the buildings, which will reunite the

700 business employees with 1,300 research and production workers

who stayed in Cambridge. “We need the close collaboration to make

decisions quickly,” said George A. Scangos, the chief executive

of Biogen. “Vertex moving out will be a ripple for Cambridge,

where there’s the world􀂶s biggest concentration of life science

companies, the universities and where big pharma like Novartis,

Sanofi Aventis, Merck and Amgen continue to expand.”