ABG Commercial Brokers $21.5 Million Sale of Watertown Flex Building, to Be Converted Into Class A Lab

580 Pleasant Street

Watertown, MA – Griffith Properties and partner, a fund controlled by DRA Advisors, have acquired a 145,000 SF flex/industrial property located at 580 Pleasant Street for $21.5 million. 

The property will undergo a gut renovation and will be converted into Class A laboratory building in this burgeoning Life Science market. The deal was brokered by Cambridge-based Associated Brokerage Group’s Bernard Gibbons and Stephanie Deering, who represented the seller, owner/occupier Fluid Management Systems, Inc., and procured the buyer in the transaction.

“With the scarcity of available lab space in Cambridge, Watertown is quickly becoming the next hotbed of Life Science development in Greater Boston,” said Gibbons. “Watertown is not only a lower-cost alternative to neighboring Cambridge for lab space, but with the development of Arsenal Yards and the number of multifamily complexes constructed within the community in recent years, Watertown offers a host of amenities and housing options that can help companies attract and retain employees in this competitive marketplace.”

The availability rate for the 15.1 million square foot Cambridge lab market is currently 2.9%, with asking rents approaching $100.00 NNN, and Kendall Square achieving in excess of $110.00 psf. The Watertown market has seen significant growth, expanding from 270,000 square feet of lab space in 2015 to 1,125,000 square feet in 2020, and is becoming a prominent target for institutional investors.

580 Pleasant St. is a 145,000 square foot, two-story flex/industrial building. Located in close proximity to Routes 16 and 20 as well as I-90 and I-95, the property sits astride the Charles River and is within 1.5 miles of both the MBTA Commuter Rail stop in Waltham and the Watertown Square bus terminal, which connects direct routes to Cambridge and Downtown Boston. The Pleasant Street corridor offers numerous amenities with grocery-anchored shopping, restaurants and recreational activities in abundant supply, and is home to a number of newly constructed apartment communities. The conversion of 580 Pleasant Street into a Class A Life Science building is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.

“Greater Boston is the recognized leader of the global life sciences industry, ranking as the #1 life sciences market. As the market continues to expand beyond Kendall Square and Cambridge, Watertown is poised to become a vital component of this important Life Sciences cluster,” said Brad Takala, Griffith Properties’ principal. “Demand for lab space greatly exceeds supply in this market, and with our demonstrated track record as an experienced life science developer, we will deliver a first-class facility to meet the needs of the biotechnology community.”

The sale of 580 Pleasant St. is the latest Life Sciences-related transaction for ABG Commercial and Gibbons. In May of 2019, Gibbons brokered the deal for 66 Galen St. in Watertown, the cornerstone of Boston Development Group’s proposed 450,000-square-foot life-science campus. ABG and Gibbons also engineered a pair of deals at Boynton Yards in Somerville for DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners and Leggat McCall, one of which resulted in the 290,000-square-foot Life Sciences project at 100 South St., now under construction.