SGL Development Proposes a 4-Story Lab Building in Porter Square

Rendering coutesy: Peter Quinn Architects

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Cambridge developer SGL Development has proposed to build  a four-story lab building in Porter Square, Boston Business Journal reported on Monday.

“SGL Development has proposed to demolish two homes and a one-story print shop at 32, 40 and 44 White St., across from the Porter Square Shopping Center, in order to build a 42,000-square-foot R&D site on the parcels,” Boston Business Journal reported. “The properties sit on the Cambridge-Somerville border. The shopping center is in Cambridge, as is the commercial building next to 32 White St., the parcel closest to Porter Square.”

Boston Business Journal reported that some Cambridge city councilors have expressed concerns about the addition of lab space in parts of the city like Porter Square.

“A pair of councilors put forward legislation last year to prohibit new lab development outside Kendall Square, Alewife and Cambridgeport. This spring, however, the Council moved instead to set up a working group to consider size limits and other restrictions on labs in city neighborhoods, rather than an outright ban,” Boston Business Journal reported.

Boston Business Journal quoted SGL principal Adam Siegel as saying that “There’s an advantage in having a permitting process that’s more forgiving in Somerville, in regard to life sciences development in squares.”

This will be the first life sciences project for SGL, which has focused on residential development, Boston Business Journal reported, adding that  the firm is working with Avison Young’s project management team on the proposal.

SGL was drawn to the location by its proximity to the Red Line and commuter rail and the nearby shopping options, Boston Business Journal said quoting Siegel.

Somerville’s planning board has scheduled its first hearing on SGL’s proposal for July 20. The project, located within blocks of the Porter Square MBTA station, would not have any on-site parking, according to the BBJ report. The report added that the development’s size would be a good fit for startups exiting incubator space or for a growing company looking to establish an auxiliary location.

SGL does not own the properties right now but plans to ultimately buy them, Boston Business Journal reported quoting Siegel.