Expanding life science and biotech options in Medford will increase commercial tax base, bring revenue and jobs to the City.
Several developers pursuing development projects in Wellington neighborhood and Boston Avenue in Medford.
MEDFORD – The City of Medford is actively pursuing new development that would significantly increase biotech and life science industries in the city. With its location in the greater Boston metro area, abundant commercial zones, and proximity to rapid transit and the life science corridors in surrounding communities, Medford is well positioned to capitalize on Boston Metro Area’s growing life science and biotech industry.
“This is exactly the kind of development that we as a city should be exploring. Our existing commercial districts have incredible value – their location, lot sizes, and overall development potential – and this type of development will greatly expand our commercial tax base and bring in hundreds of new jobs to Medford, providing many benefits to our residents and to our community as a whole,” said Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn. “This is an exciting opportunity to put Medford on the map and connect our city to the greater Boston area’s life science corridor, and it is no coincidence that this type of development is interested in Medford as we are working through our city’s first-ever Comprehensive Plan. Like all that we do, we will continue to be open and transparent and will provide options for community input as we continue to see interest from these types of developers. We are being strategic about the future of our community, and it is paying off.”
Developers are already moving forward on projects at several locations within the city: Oxford Properties is beginning work on a 90,000 square foot bio-manufacturing facility at 23 Sycamore Ave; RISE Together has released a proposal for a seven-story, approximately 250,000 square feet, biotech development, at 4054 Mystic Valley Parkway; and Cummings Properties already has plans underway for a 37,000 square foot expansion of their property at 200 Boston Avenue. In addition, One Cabot Road, a 320,000 square foot office building currently owned by Davis Company, is being marketed as a life science conversion opportunity.
Medford’s Economic Development Director, Viktor Schrader – a position established by Mayor Lungo-Koehn in late 2020 – has been instrumental not only in working with potential developers to put Medford on the map for the life science industry but is also working directly with the Medford Board of Health to update the city’s policies and regulations to make sure potential development meets community and industry safety standards.
“Medford is well positioned to take advantage of the life science and biotech growth in the greater-Boston area,” said Mr. Schrader. “Medford is quickly becoming a market hot spot and developers are seeing the investment potential here. The revenue potential for the City is incredible, but we also want to make sure these developments benefit the residents by improving the city’s infrastructure and enhancing the sense of place that makes Medford so great.”
The Office of Planning, Development and Sustainability has proposed zoning changes to existing industrial areas to encourage biotech and life science development. The changes have the potential to improve large areas of the city that are designated industrial and currently allow only for low-rise buildings with large surface parking lots. In addition, the Medford Board of Health is considering regulations similar to those in surrounding communities to ensure that biotech facilities are safe and held to the highest standards.
The City is also working with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBIO) to be designated as a “bio-ready” community, a list developed by the organization to help encourage the expansion of biotech in the region. The City of Medford has not previously been included on the list.
“The Chamber of Commerce welcomes the new jobs and commercial investment that biotech will bring” said Maury Carroll, President of the Medford Chamber of Commerce. “We have been watching this industry grow in other places and are excited to see it finally coming to Medford.”
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