bluebird bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) announced today that it has signed a long-term lease with Federal Realty (Federal) to establish a biotech hub at Assembly Row. The 61,000 square foot facility to be located at 455 Grand Union Blvd. in Somerville is designed to meet the changing needs of bluebird bio’s business, including its dedicated focus on gene therapies for severe genetic diseases following the recent spinoff of its oncology portfolio.
The company expects to move approximately 425 employees to its new headquarters in spring of 2022. The workspace is designed to enable a distributed work model and to allow for increased engagement and productivity for all employees, as hybrid work is here to stay. bluebird estimates the move to Assembly Row will result in more than $120 million in cumulative cost savings over the next six years. The company will maintain laboratory space and operations at 60 Binney St. in Cambridge through 2023.
“Over the past 18 months, we have transformed the way we work and live as we’ve navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic and re-established ourselves as a company focused on pursuing curative gene therapies for severe genetic disease,” said Jason Cole, chief business officer, bluebird bio. “Savings from our real estate footprint support our focus on increased fiscal discipline and investment in our core programs and pipeline. We are excited to migrate to our new nest at Assembly Row and to work with Federal to design a space that allows us to work smarter and meet the changing needs of our business and expectations of our birds – now and in the future.”
The new facility in Somerville offers easy access to the MBTA Orange Line (Assembly stop) and offers multiple amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, an on-location kids’ room and ample bike storage, in addition to Assembly Row’s large array of dining, shopping, entertainment and health and wellness benefits. The building was designed in accordance with LEED Gold Core & Shell and is currently pursuing certification.
“Not only are we proud to become home to a company taking on critical healthcare challenges, but the arrival of a biotech leader at Assembly Row also advances our community’s many goals,” said Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville. “Somerville has set ambitious plans to grow jobs and invest in our people. The new tax revenues, employment growth, and opportunities for partnership that this move brings will help us get there. I want to welcome bluebird bio and their staff, and look forward to their involvement in Somerville as new community partners.”
“Our partnership with bluebird bio continues to validate our investment here in Somerville and we anticipate more in the sector to follow as we continue to build out the neighborhood,” said Patrick McMahon, senior vice president, Federal Realty. “It’s truly exciting to have bluebird’s innovative work continue as part of our evolving ecosystem. Assembly Row is a proven destination for a high quality of life for residents, workers and visitors, and we are looking forward to welcoming the birds to nest here.”
About bluebird bio, Inc.
bluebird bio is pursuing curative gene therapies to give patients and their families more bluebird days.
With a dedicated focus on severe genetic diseases, bluebird has industry-leading clinical programs for sickle cell disease, β-thalassemia and cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy and is advancing research to apply new technologies to these and other diseases. We custom design each of our therapies to address the underlying cause of disease and have developed in-depth and effective analytical methods to understand the safety of our lentiviral vector technologies and drive the field of gene therapy forward.
Founded in 2010, bluebird has the largest and deepest ex-vivo gene therapy data set in the world—setting the standard for industry. Today, bluebird continues to forge new paths, combining our real-world experience with a deep commitment to patient communities and a people-centric culture that attracts and grows a diverse flock of dedicated birds.
About Assembly Row
Assembly Row is one of Greater Boston’s fastest growing neighborhood destinations. Conveniently located along I-93 and with direct access to Downtown Boston via the Orange Line and its dedicated MBTA station, Assembly Row is a dynamic neighborhood that offers first-class working, living, shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences. With Phase III near completion, Assembly Row boasts over one million square feet of office space, 1,500 residential units, a 158-key hotel, and over 500k square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment. When fully built across 40 acres along the Mystic River, the Assembly Row neighborhood will feature a total of 635,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 2.0 million square feet of office space, and 1,800 residences.
About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail-based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Founded in 1962, Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long-term, sustainable growth through investing in communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Its expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities. Federal Realty's 105 properties include approximately 3,000 tenants, in 25 million square feet, and approximately 2,900 residential units.
Federal Realty has increased its quarterly dividends to its shareholders for 54 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P 500 index member and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit www.federalrealty.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to: expectations about the timing for the Company’s occupancy at the new headquarters, as well as expectations about potential cost savings for the change in headquarters location from 60 Binney Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to 455 Grand Union Blvd., Somerville, Massachusetts. Any forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause our actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in our most recent Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and bluebird bio undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.