New owner of Fort Point office building seeks to turn it into life-sciences space; says it will monitor social media for any incorrect statements about its plans
GI Partners, a San Francisco-based equity firm, has filed plans with the BPDA to convert the nine-story 51 Melcher St. into life-sciences space.
In September, GI recently paid $74.6 million for the building, which went up in 1915 as part of the Boston Wharf Co.'s redevelopment of the area, It bought the building from an LLC that paid $52.8 million for the building in 2014.
GI says it will leave the building's historic outside the same, but will extensively renovate the interior - which was renovated in 2011 - to accommodate life-sciences labs and related offices. This will include installation of a new HVAC system to handle the increased demands of biotech work for ventilation.
Much of that work can be accommodated through HVAC units on each floor - with louvered ventilation outlets only visible from Necco Court - reducing the amount of noise-generating equipment on the roof, the company says. Rooftop HVAC systems on life-sciences buildings have become an issue in South Boston.
Unusual for a development filing, GI includes a social-media policy in its project notification form:
We will monitor the social media around the Project and correct misinformation.
The monitoring is part of an overall "public outreach strategy" to inform neighbors about what really happens inside life-sciences buildings that will include "consistent, meaningful, and relevant interaction" with "local community groups, residents, artists and businesses" - as well as monitoring what they say online.
GI says it hopes to begin nine to twelve months of renovation work in mid-2022.
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I'm gonna go on Twitter and start a rumor that they're really building a candy factory and only 5 lucky children will ever get to visit it and only one will survive
Great minds ...
See some of the responses.
An early frontrunner
Cease and desist!
Cease and desist!
you to "incorrectly" post your idea of their plans to your social media, you could be hit by a hellfire missile. depending upon who you are, of course.
Is the owner aiming to have
Is the owner aiming to have this life science space used for gastrointestinal (GI) research?
why the need for improved HVAC?
I thought that GenX worker bees enjoyed the perk of breathing exotic fumes, after they bike to their coworking space from their micro apartments. I heard that the building is going to have a rooftop bar, where patrons can stand next to the vents and have a snort or huff for themselves.
the most boston archivist/librarian question i will ever ask:
Is that the building Acme Bindery-Harcourt-AM Sulkin used to be in?
Is lab space in that much demand or is this code for renting to people who never clean their fridges?
We shall see
As someone who is in the business of designing lab space I often ask myself how many more buildings can be converted into life science buildings. Only time will tell but I suspect in 5 years lab space in the Boston area will be less than 100% occupied and some of these late to the game developers will be in hot water with their lenders.
I'm also curious about the environmental effects on the Boston area of the all the collective dirty lab air exhausted from all these labs that use reagents and corrosive. I'm just glad there aren't any in my neighborhood!