Galen Street Biotech Development Approved by ZBA

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Elkus Manfredi Architects

A view of the proposed life sciences building at 66 Galen Street viewed from Galen Street.

A view of the life sciences building at 66 Galen St. approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. This view is from Galen Street.

The following piece was provided Boston Development Group:

Following months of planning discussions and community meetings, Boston Development Group (BDG) has received approval from the Watertown Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)  Thursday for a proposed life sciences development at 66 Galen Street in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Boston Development Group (BDG), a multifaceted investment management and real estate development firm, plans to build a major life science campus comprised of two phases totaling nearly 450,000 SF of Class A Office/ R&D LAB. Their proposal  addresses the goals outlined in The Watertown Comprehensive Plan, and builds upon the burgeoning life science cluster in Watertown that has evolved and accelerated over the last several years.  

Seeking to capitalize on market conditions, Boston Development Group assembled several parcels along Galen St. which was previously seen as a blighted, autocentric strip of abandoned buildings and vacant land. This project will help improve the traffic and bus circulation and provide an iconic building which will enhance the entrance into Watertown Square.  When combined with BDG’s owned property at 51 Water Street, the entire site totals in excess of five acres of prime developable land at the confluence of Watertown Square and the Charles River.

Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, BDG’s phase 1 plan features just over 200,000 square feet of LEED Gold certifiable office and lab surrounded by 44,000-sqft of open and green space (40%). Landscape architecture firm Ground is designing a pair of parks that will provide tenants, visitors, and neighbors a place to pause and recharge amid lush plantings and distinct seating pockets. In addition to the new parks, the development will transform vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian flow by adding new traffic patterns and networks. The building will also feature 277 on-site, below-grade parking spaces, a spacious bicycle room, and solar panels on the roof. The improved traffic flow will promote multi-modal transportation, supported by a new bus stop and Blue Bikes station. Coupled with new wide sidewalks, streetlights, extensive tree plantings and the elimination of seven curb cuts, these improvements will enhance pedestrian streetscapes and connections to Watertown Square and the Charles River. 

“We are pleased with the decision by the ZBA (Wednesday) evening and thank all of the residents and city officials who have participated in this process.  said Jodie Zussman, President, Boston Development Group and the second generation of the firm at the helm.

Bob Doherty, a VP and Partner in the proposed development added, “We are excited to realize the city’s vision for the South Square/ Galen Street corridor as a major gateway into the downtown. This part of Watertown is an ideal place for a mix of uses including office/ R&D, lab and other higher density, transit-oriented development that would serve to transform its character and identity.”

The team includes: Elkus Manfredi Architects, Ground, VHB, Moriarty, and Vannasse and Assoc.

The project is expected to break ground in early-2021.

About Boston Development Group

Boston Development Group (BDG) is a multifaceted investment management and real estate development firm, with over 60 years of experience in the Greater Boston market. BDG has an impressive real estate portfolio that includes prominent commercial, retail and residential properties throughout New England and the East Coast of the United States. The Company also has developed, owned and managed hotels, medical and retirement facilities. In addition to real estate development and ownership, the firm markets, leases, and manages all properties within its current portfolio. For more information, visit

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