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In Marlborough, GE Healthcare’s arrival could be just the start

In Marlborough, GE Healthcare’s arrival could be just the start

BANKER & TRADESMAN – As GE Healthcare Life Science occupies its new 245,000-square-foot North American headquarters in Marlborough, developer Joseph Zink sees opportunities to build on the momentum of a once-deserted office park now teeming with job growth.

“It was a reaffirmation of what’s going on in Eastern Massachusetts with companies coming here to access the intellectual capital,” Zink said.

GE’s life science arm has spent $27 million on its office and lab buildout, with employees starting to move in last January.

Some 250 of the employees now working in Marlborough are new hires, GE spokeswoman Erin Bryant said. Approximately 30 relocated from the Princeton and Piscataway, New Jersey offices and another 20 came from GE’s Locke Drive facility in Marlborough. Another 200 hires are expected by 2017.

The Marlborough facility includes 40,000 square feet of GE labs devoted to cell and immune therapy research, early stage drug development and biomanufacturing. GE Healthcare will continue to operate a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Westborough, which has approximately 200 employees, and a radiopharmacy lab in Woburn that employs 40.

Gov. Charlie Baker and economic development officials attended a ceremonial grand opening and toured the Marlborough property Thursday.

Kieran Murphy, CEO of the life sciences business, said moving the division to what he called the heart of Massachusetts’ life science and pharma system is critical to growth.

Zink’s Framingham-based company, Atlantic Management, acquired the 110-acre campus once anchored by Hewlett Packard in 2012 for $8.7 million with the strategy of converting it into a mixed-use complex. Quest Diagnostics leased 204,000 square feet of space and occupied it in June 2014. The building has 60,000 square feet available, with Zink in talks with a potential tenant for all but 10,000 feet.

With the property permitted for up to 1.05 million square feet of commercial space, Zink is now in talks with two Greater Boston companies about anchoring the next phase. Depending upon the tenant’s preference, that could include up to 250,000 square feet of office and lab space in a build-to-suit or rehabbing and expanding the 2 Results Way building next-door to GE, Zink said.

AvalonBay Communities completed construction of a 350-unit apartment complex last summer, while a 163-room Hilton Garden Inn owned by Milwaukee-based hotel developer CMS Corp. opened in mid-June. The Learning Experience, a day care provider, will open a 10,000-square-foot facility in August as part of 50,000 square feet of new retail space.

This article by Steve Adams originally appeared here.