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Boston Construction: $1B Boston life sciences project gets underway

Reprinted from  Construction Drive

Dive Brief:

  • Construction is now underway on a $1 billion life science campus built on an air rights deck over the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston.
  • The Fenway Center project at the city’s western edge features more than 960,000 square feet of state-of-the-art life-science buildings with approximately 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Construction of the life science buildings on top of the deck will be completed in early 2025.
  • The project will create 2,000 construction jobs, 3,000 permanent new jobs and is expected to generate more than $15 million in new annual tax revenues for the city, according to a release from developers IQHQ and Meredith Management.

Dive Insight:

Construction of the deck over the heavily traveled section of Interstate 90 known as the Massachusetts Turnpike between Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue will be the largest air rights structure built in Boston since Copley Place in 1980, the release said, and will take approximately 24 months to complete.

The deck construction phase will require closures of a single east and west bound travel lane and additional late night lane closures to accommodate the construction of the deck and building foundations.

IQHQ will employ an outreach and communications campaign to keep the public up to date that will be available at the project website,, and via virtual public meetings. The website will provide forward-looking information for two-week periods about the construction schedule and travel impacts. Users of the site will also be able to register for regular email updates. Additional information will be shared with motorists through a Real-Time Traffic Management system.

Once completed, the project near Fenway Park will also include approximately 1.6 acres of landscaped green space connecting Brookline Avenue, Lansdowne Station and Beacon Street. The park will include a large plaza and a roughly 700-foot-long public pedestrian walkway along with art and exhibition spaces dedicated to the history, achievements, heroes and impacts of the life sciences and public health sectors.

“Fenway Center creates a direct connection between premier life science, research, academic and medical districts at the gateway to Boston. It also reunites several of Boston’s iconic neighborhoods after more than 100 years of separation caused by railroad tracks and the Mass Pike,” said John Bonanno, chief investment officer of IQHQ.

The first phase of the project, the mixed-use Bower development, opened last fall. Comprised of two buildings — an eight-story, 100-unit mid-rise and an adjacent 14-story, 212-unit tower — Bower offers a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The general contractor on that part of the project was Moriarty, according to its website.

New details also emerged this month on a major life sciences building in Philadelphia. The first phase of the Navy Yard project includes the $400 million development of two advanced life sciences buildings, with significant residential and hospitality initiatives. When finished, the site in South Philadelphia will encompass more than 1 million square feet of life sciences space.

Public and private developers will transform the former military base into a mixed-use community of approximately 3,000 residential units, offices, hotels and retail space, creating thousands of jobs, both construction and permanent, the development team said.