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ABG Commercial Brokers Record Sale for Watertown Square Parcel at $7M

May 09, 2019
66 Galen Street, Watertown MA

WATERTOWN–A 1.3-acre development site located in the heart of Watertown Square has been acquired by Galen Street Development, LLC for a record $7 million. The deal for 66 Galen St. was brokered by Cambridge-based Associated Brokerage Group’s Bernard Gibbons, who represented the seller, Empire Management. The site represented the highest price per square foot paid for a single parcel of land to date in the red-hot Watertown market.

“There was a tremendous level of interest in this site because of its proximity to public transportation and ready access to Downtown Boston, Harvard and Central Square, as well as the communities of Newton and a revitalized Allston-Brighton,” said Gibbons. “We were in discussions with dozens of developers with ideas ranging from mixed-use development to retail cannabis to life science, and the Town of Watertown will be working closely with the developer to determine the highest and best use for the property.”

Watertown is in the midst of residential and commercial real estate boom, adding 835 housing units since 2013, with another 800 either under construction or approved. The $400 million mixed-use redevelopment of Arsenal Yards by Boylston Properties includes 250,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 300 apartments, 200,000 square feet of office/lab space, and a 150 room hotel. It is also quickly becoming a preferred location for biotech companies.

With virtually no life science space in available in Cambridge and with rents approaching $100 per square foot for new construction, Watertown is positioning itself as a lower-cost alternative for biotech firms. Lab inventory in Watertown has grown by 56 percent over the past decade and is now home to 23 life sciences companies employing about 1,500 people, and Cambridge Science recently opened an incubator space just off Arsenal St. In 2018, Boylston Properties completed LINX, a 185,000 square foot biotech lab, which is now fully leased, and recently signed SQZ Biotech to a 64,000 square-foot lease at Arsenal Yards.

“Development sites in transit-oriented locations in Boston, Cambridge, and the inner suburbs are at a premium right now,” added Gibbons. “Given the current market conditions and the strong economy, we expect to see demand continue unabated for the foreseeable future.”

Bernard Gibbons