By Catherine Carlock Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal
Hobbs Brook Management has plans to demolish its longtime Waltham headquarters on Wyman Street and develop a 500,000-square-foot speculative office and lab facility in its place.
The facility at 225 Wyman will be the largest contiguous Class A office space built along Route 128 when it is complete by early 2021, according to the company.
Trish Holland, assistant vice president and commercial and corporate leasing manager at Hobbs Brook, said in an interview that the company felt confident in landing a tenant given the high demand for life-science and office space in Greater Boston.
“There are companies out there that are looking for some large square footage, and there are limited office buildings that can provide that,” she said.
Hobbs Brook has tapped real-estate brokerage JLL to be the exclusive leasing agent for 225 Wyman St. Alex Dauria, JLL’s managing director, said his firm found that some 81 percent of life-science tenants in Greater Boston in fall 2017 needed to occupy a property within a year of entering the market. In fall 2018, that figure was 83 percent, which gave JLL the confidence to recommend pursuing a speculative facility — that is, a facility that’s under construction without a tenant already signed, he said.
“There are opportunities that are out there, especially in Class A facilities, that were not going to meet the timing of these tenants,” he said. “Almost always the building that’s up and ready to go is the building that gets the tenant. There just aren’t large blocks of contiguous space available in the marketplace.”
The Hobbs Brook office park in Waltham is home to tenants including Dassault Systems at 175/185 Wyman St. and Vistaprint at 275 Wyman St. The new four-story office and lab will be spread out in several sections, which could be easily sectioned off for individual tenants, Dauria said.
Gensler is the project’s architect, and Boston-based OJB is the landscape architect. Hobbs Brook has not yet selected a contractor. Construction is expected to begin this quarter.
Amenities include an on-site green space and walking trails, a landscaped courtyard, a fitness center, conference center, dining facility and new 1,500-space covered parking garage with electric vehicle charging stations.
The 145,000-square-foot office at 225 Wyman St., which served as Hobbs Brook’s longtime headquarters, had been built in the 1960s and renovated in the 1980s. The building was tired, Holland said, and needed improvements.
It’s also more important than ever for employers to provide employees with cool working spaces, as part of the ongoing effort to attract and retain workers, Dauria said.
“What you provide the end user to have as their work space is critical,” he said.
Dauria, Jason Fivek, Don Domoretsky and Brendan Cohn from JLL are the property’s leasing representatives.
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