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Saracen Properties, Mann Research Center, PharmaSphere, South Worcester (Mass.) Industrial Park, Ribomed Biotechnologies, The Beal Companies, Rockwood Capital, One Kendall Square

Developer Joins Trammell Crow to Reposition Waltham, Mass., Campus for Lab-Office Use
The new owner of a former Raytheon Corporation campus in Waltham, Mass., has announced plans for a $35 million renovation project that will reposition the campus for businesses seeking laboratories as well as office space.
Waltham-based Saracen Properties said it has teamed up with Trammell Crow Company to acquire the 23-acre campus for $37.5 million. The site consists of the 23-acre, 600,000-square-foot former Raytheon site, now known as I-Park Office Park, on Seyon Street; and two parcels, including a four-acre development site, on Farwell and River streets on the Charles River.
I-Park is anchored by the headquarters of the construction consulting firm Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, as well as the biotechnology company Repligen.
Kurt (Ted) Saraceno, president of Saracen, said in a statement that the repositioning effort will include the demolition of outdated structures and the full renovation of existing buildings with new entrance lobbies, elevators, and infrastructure. The renovations are intended to capitalize on and enhance the park’s campus setting, he said.
By the third quarter, Saracen said, it will market a total 300,000 square feet — 187,000 square feet of renovated space, the rest currently vacant space. Paul Barry, a Trammell Crow senior vice president, said in the statement the 300,000 square feet would be priced “at a substantial discount to other first-class office opportunities in Waltham.”
Saracen owns and manages more than 1 million square feet of commercial property in the Boston area; Dallas-based Trammell Crow, a subsidiary of the real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, has developed or acquired more than 2,500 properties, with a total value of over $50 billion.

Mann Research Center Closes on Purchase of 22-Acre Tradition, Fla., Site
A real-estate venture of medical-device entrepreneur Alfred Mann has closed on its purchase of 22 acres within the Tradition, Fla., mixed-use master-planned community in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where it plans to build a $100 million, 400,000-square-foot life-sciences complex.
Mann Research Center paid an undisclosed price for the property just north of the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies' campus, the Palm Beach Post reported, citing St. Lucie County land records.
The project will include six buildings, with 100,000 square feet of medical office space and 300,000 square feet of research and development facilities. Construction on the first phase of the Mann project is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, with the first tenants set to arrive in late 2009 or early 2010. The timing of later phases will hinge on market activity, Mann Research Center President John DelRusso told the newspaper.
Mann Research Center is marketing its Tradition campus through Jim Linn of the real estate firm Grubb & Ellis’ Santa Clarita, Calif., office.

Pharmaceutical Ingredient Grower Plans $5.5M Facility at Worcester, Mass., Campus
A startup company that extracts chemicals from plants that are grown for pharmaceuticals, nutritional products, and cosmetics plans to build a $5.5 million, 50,000-square-foot facility at 49 Canterbury St., within the South Worcester (Mass.) Industrial Park.
PharmaSphere will be the first business to redevelop land in the industrial park. The property PharmaSphere will develop encompasses parts of six city-owned parcels — four residential and two commercial — covering 11 acres along Canterbury, Gardner, and Southgate streets. The company will use its facility to grow plants such as periwinkle and artemisia in stacks of plastic spheres. PharmaSphere plans to employ about 40 people over its first four years.
 “If we were in Cambridge, the rents would be prohibitive. At the same time, we need access to top employees. The beauty of this is Worcester has the space for an industrial-scale operation, and it’s got the employees,” company president and CEO Robert Hamlin Jr. told the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
PharmaSphere will pay the city $1 for the parcel, as well as at least partial cost of preparing the parcel’s soil for construction. If that work costs less than $250,000, PharmaSphere will pay the city $25,000. PharmaSphere was one of two companies to submit proposals to the city for the Canterbury Street parcel.

Phoenix Biotech Firm Relocates Operations to Carlsbad, Calif.
Ribomed Biotechnologies has agreed to move its offices and operations to Carlsbad, Calif., where it has leased 7,000 square feet at 1989 Palomar Oaks Way, while the company’s headquarters in Phoenix is being rebuilt.
“Even though Arizona has really begun a major effort to grow biotech ... the truth is the resources that are needed for the for-profit biotechs, particularly the startup companies, just don’t compare to what’s in San Diego,” Michelle Hanna, Ribomed’s chief executive and scientific director, told the San Diego Business Journal.
Hanna identified those resources as a talented work force, readily available laboratory space, and access to investors capable of funding the company into its commercialization stage.
Founded in 1999 as Designer Genes, the company developed a platform technology capable of detecting molecular level changes to DNA and RNA, with the goal of identifying diseases before symptoms occur. After Sept. 11, 2001, Ribomed shifted its focus to detecting bacteria, toxins, and viruses in the environment and food supply, securing several government contracts.

DTZ FHO Partners Named Leasing Agent for Cambridge, Mass., Office-Lab Campus
DTZ FHO Partners has been hired by a joint venture of The Beal Companies and Rockwood Capital as exclusive leasing agent for their One Kendall Square office-lab campus in Cambridge, Mass.
The mixed-use project consists of nine buildings with a total 676,000 square feet of office and lab space, as well as seven levels of parking, the Kendall Square Cinemas, and additional retail and restaurant space. The 10.25-acre site, within the Kendall Square/East Cambridge sub-cluster, is now undergoing $12 million in improvements to the lobbies, building facades, base building infrastructure, signs and landscaping.
Amenities at One Kendall Square include a daycare facility, restaurants, cinemas, on-site management and covered parking.
Four DTZ FHO partners — Duncan Gratton, Mike Brown, Joe Fallon, and Ted Lyon — will oversee leasing at One Kendall Square.

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.