Opening of Boynton Yards’ First Building in Somerville

(Photo Caption: 101 South Street Ribbon Cutting_1: Shawmut CEO Les Hiscoe and executive vice president Kevin Sullivan joined leadership from DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners, Leggat McCall Properties, Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, and Flagship Pioneering Founder and CEO Noubar Afeyan to cut the opening ribbon on 101 South Street on May 5th.)

Shawmut Design and Construction, a leading $1.3 billion national construction management firm, joined DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners (DLJ), Leggat McCall Properties (LMP), the City of Somerville, and Flagship Pioneering companies to cut the opening ribbon on 101 South Street, the first purpose-built Class-A lab building in Somerville as part of the Boynton Yards 1.8 million square foot, mixed-use life sciences and cultural community.
“The completion of 101 South Street marks a pivotal and monumental moment for Somerville as it opens its doors and welcomes visionaries from Flagship Pioneering,” said Kevin Sullivan, executive vice president of Shawmut Design and Construction’s New England Region. “As a vibrant hub for innovation, technology, and life science research, as well as an incubator for community and creative arts inspiration, 101 South Street represents the future of Somerville as we continue building what will become one of the region’s most prominent life sciences destinations at Boynton Yards.”
The first of four master planned life sciences buildings, 101 South Street offers best-in-class, high-efficiency infrastructure where companies can imagine and grow. The nine-story, 289,000 square-foot building offers state-of-the-art R&D lab/office space, a fitness center, bike amenities, four levels of below-grade parking, and on-site retail offerings. A ground floor conference center along with Arts and Creative Enterprise space (ACE) within the building and centered in the “Hive” at 561 Windsor Street are available for use by tenants and the Somerville Community. Coming this summer, Firefly and Portico Brewery will open serving food and beverages.
“Usually when we hold a ribbon-cutting, we’re celebrating one new great thing, like a library renovation or a new monument. But the opening of 101 South Street reflects how civic leadership, a community-driven development process, and private investment can also work together to advance multiple community goals at once,” said Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “Not only will this project establish a vital new anchor for life sciences in our region, it will bring with it jobs, innovation, new tax revenues, leading-edge sustainable construction, new open space, contributions to our affordable housing and jobs trusts funds, and ultimately the Boynton Yards project area will also support new housing and artist and maker space creation as well. That’s a lot of items on our checklist, and I applaud everyone that helped us get here.”
The building was pre-leased prior to completion to Flagship Pioneering, a life sciences platform company headquartered in Cambridge, to meet critical growth needs for its newly founded companies Tessera Therapeutics, Laronde, Cellarity, and Generate Biomedicines. These tenants occupy 280,000 square feet on eight floors.
“The Boynton Yards science and innovation campus is an emerging hub for life sciences, and we are thrilled that Flagship-founded companies Cellarity, Generate Biomedicines, Laronde, and Tessera Therapeutics now call it home,” said Christine Heenan, executive partner at Flagship Pioneering. “We look forward to a collaborative relationship between Boynton Yards, the City of Somerville, and Flagship’s ecosystem of companies, and the future we are building there together.”
Designed by architects Spagnolo Gisness & Associates and Hashim Sarkis Studios, the building was conceived with flexibility and sustainability for emerging life sciences and technology companies. Each floor has 35,000 square feet of column-free floor plates surrounding the building’s core, offering tenants flexibility to grow and redesign to meet the needs of their workforce. The building will achieve LEED Gold and WiredScore Platinum certifications, a testament to the sustainable and highly efficient design approach.
“It’s hard to believe that in the 1800s this was an unsustainable industrial site where Somerville and Cambridge immigrants worked in meatpacking factories and brickyards, often facing low wages and substandard lodging,” said John Fenton, managing partner, DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. “And now we stand here with the top scientists and researchers in the world who have chosen Somerville and Boynton Yards as their new home for cutting-edge, life-saving work.”
Boynton Yards will be a model for leading urban design with a progressive mobility management plan to decrease traffic and encourage connectivity using alternative transportation modes. Supportive amenities include on-site bike facilities, Bluebikes stations, e-bike access, a dedicated tenant shuttle and pedestrian access to the new Union Square MBTA GLX train station just a short walk away.
“Boynton Yards is the first Class-A, mixed-use building to serve the growing need for life science lab space near Kendall Square and the greater Cambridge area,” said Rob Dickey, executive vice president, Leggat McCall Properties. “We’re pioneering a progressively built environment that brings the community inside the orbit of where life-changing discoveries are taking place every day.”
As the first master planned development to be approved under the new Somerville zoning ordinance as part of the City’s SomerVision comprehensive plan, Boynton Yards has evolved through an inclusive community-driven urban revitalization process. With neighborhood input, the future of the seven-acre site now includes commercial, residential, retail, public green, arts, and performance spaces that will transform the area into a vibrant work-live-play neighborhood.
Offering a contemporary cultural experience, residents, scientists, and artists will enjoy a micro-community that includes more than two acres of civic and green space. The project brings approximately 4,000 permanent jobs to the City of Somerville and will establish it as one of the region’s most prominent life sciences hubs.
Shawmut completed the job on time despite pandemic-related obstacles and lockdowns, with enhanced safety protocols to support public health mandates employed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 across the job site.
About Shawmut Design and Construction
Shawmut Design and Construction is a $1.3 billion national construction management firm with a reputation for completing extremely complex and logistically challenging projects for the most high-profile clients in the industry. As a 100% employee-owned company, Shawmut has created a culture of ownership, proactive solution-making, and forward-thinking. Over eighty percent of its business comes from repeat clients, proving there is a strong focus on building lasting partnerships. Shawmut has offices in Boston, New York, Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.shawmut.com.
Shawmut has won Best Workplace by Fortune Magazine four times, Fortune Best Workplace for Millennials, Great Place to Work’s Best Workplace for Parents, and one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes.

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