Charles River Chamber Hosting Winter Celebration at New Biotech Building

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Elkus Manfredi Architects A view of the proposed life science building at 66 Galen Street viewed from Galen Street.

The following announcement was provided by the Charles River Regional Chamber:

Our annual Winter Celebration is a can’t-miss opportunity to connect with business, nonprofit and civic leaders, celebrate our community and support the work of the chamber in a festive atmosphere and fantastic venue.

This year, we’ll enjoy a sneak-peak at the just-completed 66 Galen Street, the stunning new Elkus Manfredi Architects-designed life science campus in the heart of Watertown Square.

Mingle with old friends, make lots of new connections, nosh on food and drink from Baker’s Best Catering, enjoy live piano music from Perkins’ grad Matteo Fasso and explore the state-of-the art new life sciences hub, led by our hosts Boston Development Group and The Davis Companies.

Free, covered parking in garage. Snow date Wed. Feb. 28.

Tickets are nonrefundable but may be transferred to another guest.

Click here to Register

14 thoughts on “Charles River Chamber Hosting Winter Celebration at New Biotech Building

  1. How insultingly shortsighted of the Charles River Regional Chamber not to invite the neighbors — the people who have endured the noise, the construction-generated dust that infiltrated their homes, the inconvenience of traffic tie-ups, and the obstacle course MBTA riders have had to put up with during the endless construction of what many Watertown residents derisively call “Godzilla on Galen.” Failing to give nearby residents a “sneak peak” at the behemoth they have to live with is a failed good-will opportunity, which neighbors and residents will surely duly note and long remember.

    • Godzilla on Galen! I love it. And it is more than apt.

      How this was allowed to be built, without concern for the surrounding neighborhood, is a perfect example of what has been wrong with our process of approving developments.

      It doesn’t take a degree in Urban Planning to see that the building is a misfit. All you need are eyes.

  2. Sadly
    South Side Watertown residents are not respected .
    This section of the 4 square miles in Watertown is not even recognized and respected as the South Side of Watertown.
    It’s called “Watertown Square!”

    There is even a condo complex on Watertown Street officially named “Watertown’s Square” with that name on the building .

    After being born I was taken to Watertown street where I lived until I married .

    How outrageous that our Watertown South Side became “Watertown Square “!!

    Is there any town or city that has a north- east and west but not a South Side? Just Watertown !

    • Your point is well taken. I happen to live in the Watertown Square Apartments, formerly Archstone Square. In my experience, the developer of Godzilla on Galen, made little effort to engage with residents on Watertown St., Aldrich Rd., or residents of the south-side streets off of Galen directly affected by the development. It seems renters as well as homeowners got the developer back-of-the hand treatment.

  3. (Sarcasm) ‘Wonderful… just wonderful’ (/Sarcasm)

    Does anyone know if and how many tenants have signed pre-leased agreements with this eyesore of an abomination?

    Same question for some of the other life science buildings springing up around here? The old Mt. Auburn Club on Coolidge ave… Sterritt Lumber site on Waltham Street… 85 Walnut St…
    the old Tufts Health Plan building on Mt. Auburn St…. etc. Whats the projected/expected vacancy rate for those locations?

    I pass by the old Bugaboo Creek/Millers Alehouse location on a daily basis and even though it’s lit up, and has workstations set up, I haven’t seen any sign of life in there. Same goes for that other blight on the landscape at 100 Forge St. in Arsenal Yards. I’ve sat in the Home Depot parking lot, and haven’t observed a single sole in there.

    Are we going to be looking at a number of vacant, underused buildings because supply is exceeding demands due to developers having high expectations?

    • (Sarcasm alert!) What? Developers overbuilding beyond demand? Never heard of it.

      How about they turn their efforts to affordable housing? Such smart people ought to be able to figure out a way to do it and provide housing that would allow folks of normal means to remain here in Watertown. (Sarcasm alert ended!)

      Any overbuilding of lab or office space will use land that might otherwise be used for housing. We only have four square miles.

      • Given that it costs $500,000 or more to create 1 unit of “affordable housing” (according to a recent Spotlight article in the Globe), who is going to spend millions of dollars to build a *standalone* affordable housing project? It seems clear that a for-profit developer can’t make a profit on building and selling a project which includes only “affordable” units due to the low selling price for those units. People seem to be assuming that for-profit developers should build it anyway as a charitable act, but that’s not realistic.

        Please note I’m *not* talking about developers proposing to build a for-profit housing development and agreeing to include a limited number of affordable units. This is fine as a condition of project approval.

        But if we want more *standalone* affordable housing projects, we must look elsewhere for the money to fund them.

        Also – please don’t assume that you know the future of any biolab buildings, whether they will be “empty” for one month, one year, or ten years. First, the biotech industry runs on cycles with long leadtimes. All the comments here are about the past; people assume that what they see today will continue unchanged into the future (it never does). Second, these buildings can house offices of non-biotech organizations, so they’re not dependent on one economic sector. Last, those buildings are the responsibility of their owners, just like any other business.

    • Yes to Alan’s message above. As a professional in the biotech sector, I have seen a huge contraction in this local industry over the last two years. Small companies are folding, larger companies are laying off huge numbers of staff and even the most successful companies are reducing square footage, with fewer people reguarly in offices and large scale lab work often done offsite or offshore in far less expensive areas.
      Yes, Watertown has way oversold lab space and it is very likely that city residents will be looking into and living near huge, empty structures.

      Even more insulting that neighbors were not invited and tickets to attend range from $130 – $3000!

    • Yes, the vacancy rate in watertown is high, probably in the mid-30% range. Mutliple buildings are only partially leased, examples would be 580 Pleasant Street, 64 Pleasant street, 100 Forge (formerly Bugaboo/Miller ale house), Arsenal-Former SQZ Biotech is up for sub-lease (layoffs), 125/150 Coolidge ave……just to name a few. Similar issue is occuring in Waltham/Lexington which also has similar vacancy rates. Combine this with Boston and Allston. Its a renters market. Companies have better choice when they decide to move, if they decide to move. Vacant buildings still pay taxes.

      What happens when you add in the planned developments at Acton street (cannistrano), Waltham str (sterritt lumber), Russos site, the entire Alexandria complex at Best Buy and the former Tufts building……

  4. The reason for hosting the event at 66 Galen is that they need tenants, there is an oversupply of lab space. This is one way to showcase a building, draw up some buzz around “66 Galen street” in hopes to attract a lessee. Back in October a similar event was held, ” Bisnow’s Boston State of the Market” at the same spot……This isn’t the only vacant lab space in Watertown at the moment but it’s one of the most pronounced. Can’t wait for the construction to start on the 2nd building!

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