Driven by Experience and Education, BioMed Realty’s Isabel Acuña Brings a Professional Approach to Real Estate Development Practices

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Isabel Acuña

BOSTON—Isabel Acuña, director of development for BioMed Realty’s Greater Boston portfolio, oversees the company’s 5.7 million square foot portfolio and 1.6 million square foot development pipeline in Boston and Cambridge, MA.

What does she enjoy most about her work? “Living the construction process of a project is such a fulfilling experience,” says Ms. Acuña. “It almost feels like you’re putting a “Lego” set together.”

Ms. Acuña will be honored as the Outstanding Women of Commercial Real Estate 2024 by the Boston Real Estate Times on Feb. 22, 2024 at its Annual Awards gala at the Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA. To register for the gala, please click here.

With over 25 years of project management and real estate development experience, including ground-up construction and redevelopment, Ms. Acuña is an expert in directing complex and high-profile projects across asset classes at BioMed Realty.

BioMed Realty, a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries, owns and operates 16.6 million square feet of real estate concentrated in leading innovation markets throughout the US and UK.

Ms. Acuña has been integral to the development of 585 Kendall, a 600,000-square-foot, 16-story lab/office building in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA, and the nation’s largest life science lease signing of 2022. She has worked closely with Takeda to ensure the project meets their unique needs, leading a team of 60+ industry professionals, including general contractors, architects, engineers, and multidisciplinary consultants.

BioMed Realty’s 585 Kendall is a 600,000-square-foot, 16-story lab/office building in development in the heart of Kendall Square.

Since joining BioMed Realty in June 2022, Ms. Acuña’s combined expertise as Civil and Structural Engineer and as a Sustainability Professional, together with her experience, has enabled her success as a leader of high-profile projects with complex requirements and diverse stakeholders.

As part of her commitment to improving the neighboring area, in April 2023, Ms. Acuña helped to facilitate the relocation of a gas transfer station from 330 Third Street to a “backyard space” in Kendall Square. This move significantly enhances the area’s safety, aesthetics, and walkability. It’s also a testament to Isabel and her team’s adeptness at collaborating with local partners and municipalities to create spaces that better serve community members.

Isabel Acuña (right) joins BioMed Realty Senior Vice President Salvatore Zinno and Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui at the site of the gas transfer station at 330 Third Street.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico, Ms. Acuña went on to earn a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to her role at BioMed Realty, she currently serves as an active member of CREW Boston, dedicated to the advancement of fellow women in the industry.

Ms. Acuña’s is committed to developing high-quality lab and office spaces, so BioMed Realty’s tenants can focus on delivering life-saving therapies.

Here is a brief Q/A with Ms. Acuña’s:

Boston Real Estate Times: What do you enjoy most about your work?

Isabel Acuña: Living the construction process of a project is such a fulfilling experience. It almost feels like you’re putting a “Lego” set together.

BRET: What do success and failure mean to you?

IA: Success means to accomplish something as envisioned, failure, the opposite.

BRET: What is the one thing you attribute your success to?

IA: Experience and education

BRET: To which charitable, community and professional groups do you belong and why?

IA: CREW, NAIOP, MIT Alumni, LEED Professionals, Built Environment Plus, local church, and others. I joined them because of shared interests.

BRET: In what way do you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community, your company/organization or professional field?

IA: By always bringing a professional approach to Real Estate Development practices.

BRET: Is there any aptitude, gift or talent that not many people know about you?

IA: Yes, I am a good mathematician, having participated in the Mathematical Olympiad.

BRET: What are your hobbies and interests?

IA: Spending time with family and friends, reading, yoga, and hiking.

BRET: Your favorite books?

IA: One Hundred Years of Solitude and To Kill a Mockingbird

BRET: Your favorite quotes?

IA: “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace” and “Well done is better than well said”

BRET: Who is the one person you would like to meet and why?

IA: Pope Francis, I think he is an amazing human being.

BRET: What are the core values you try to live by?

IA: Love, fairness, and honesty.

BRET: What inspires you?

IA: My mom and father, they made the best with what they had.

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