Is this going across the street from the existing Novartis building?
and the globeNovartis announces $600 million Cambridge expansion
By Brian P. Nanos
The pharmaceutical company Novartis announced Wednesday a planned $600 million expansion that will add 300 new jobs and 400,000 square feet its Cambridge research campus.
The expansion, which Novartis expects to begin in 2011, will expand the company?s research headquarters across Mass. Ave. to a four-acre parcel on the corner of Mass. Ave. and Albany Street.
Novartis has leased that parcel from MIT since 2009.
The company has run its Institutes for Biomedical Research in the 83-year-old former candy factory since 2004, when it moved into the Mass. Ave. building that was formerly owned and operated by the New England Confectionary Co.
At an Oct. 27 press conference, Mark Fishman, president of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, said that the new buildings would contain mostly laboratory space that he described as ?a new type of space for science.? The plans also call for office and retail space.
?We are in the midst of selecting an architect of international renown who will build a magnificent building that will weave into the fabric of Central Square, Kendall Square, MIT,? Fishman said.
The Oct. 27 press conference announcing the planned expansion was attended by Gov. Deval Patrick and Cambridge Mayor David Maher.
?This is a great day for Novartis but it is also a great day for the City of Cambridge,? Maher said. ?We are very proud in Cambridge of the impact that the life science and the innovation community has had on this great city.?
Both Fishman and Patrick both teased Maher over the zoning relief that Novartis will need to build such a large, multi-use building.
?We love it here and we know we can count on you to help us get this,? Fishman told Maher.
?I want to thank and acknowledge the mayor of Cambridge, David Maher, and the city manager of Cambridge, Bob Healy,? Patrick added later. ?I would do that under any circumstances because they are terrific leaders and wonderful partners but I was asked especially to love them up because I think they have to approve something. Let?s be clear, we want you to approve this.?
Maher said he was confident that the zoning process would result in something good for the city and the company.
?Sometimes if you have to go through a zoning change, it may seem like a cumbersome and long project but in the end what I think always happens in Cambridge is that we end up with the best possible outcome,? he said. ?And the best possible outcome is growing this company. It?s adding jobs. It?s adding construction jobs. It?s about getting this economy moving again.?
Novartis doubles plan for Cambridge
Swiss drug company to hire up to 300 more
By Casey Ross and Robert Weisman, Globe Staff | October 27, 2010
Pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG will disclose today that it is doubling the size of a planned office and lab complex in Cambridge, spending $600 million to bolster its research operations and strengthen partnerships with local universities and biotechnology start-ups.
Already Cambridge?s largest corporate employer, the Swiss firm expects to hire an additional 200 to 300 employees over the next five years, bringing its total workforce in the city to around 2,300. Novartis?s global research operations are already headquartered in Cambridge, across Massachusetts Avenue from the site of the new four-acre campus.
?People have found this area to be one of the most exciting places to do this work in the world,?? said Mark Fishman, the president of the company?s Institutes for Biomedical Research. He said Novartis is developing drugs to treat adult blindness, muscle weakness in the elderly, and sev eral forms of cancer. It is also expanding its research into how cells grow and multiply abnormally, to help physicians better select medicines that will be more effective, and have fewer side effects, for individual patients.
The 400,000-square-foot Novartis complex is the latest example of how the Boston area, particularly Cambridge, has become a magnet for international pharmaceutical companies looking for access to cutting-edge drug research at MIT and Harvard University, and seeking to forge alliances with early-stage biotechnology companies.
French drug maker Sanofi Aventis SA last summer unveiled a $65 million expansion in Cambridgeport that will serve as a joint headquarters for a new cancer division. The firm would also add 300 jobs. Others include AstraZeneca PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC of Great Britain, Shire PLC of Ireland, and New York-based Pfizer Inc.
?If you look at Kendall Square, it?s just a hotbed of activity,?? said Harry Glorikian, managing partner at Scientia Advisors, a life sciences consulting firm in Cambridge. ?It?s the talent, it?s the concentration of all the parties who are working on new technologies and new capabilities. The big pharma companies are always doing partnerships and deals. By coming here, it makes it a whole lot easier for them to be part of the conversation.??
The new Cambridge complex would be built on property owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is now mostly parking lots and a vacant industrial building. It would include new retail stores and a courtyard to link with MIT?s campus. Presuming it receives approvals from the city of Cambridge, Novartis said it would like to begin construction in the first half of 2011.
Novartis has scheduled a public announcement of the project at an event this morning, which Cambridge Mayor David Maher and Governor Deval Patrick are expected to attend.
?This will mean new construction jobs and permanent jobs,?? Maher said. ?And it will fill in a section of Massachusetts Avenue that needs some urban renewal.??
As the first global pharmaceutical company to put a major research presence in Cambridge, in 2003, Novartis already has several well-established ventures with local institutions. One is a $65 million, 10-year deal with MIT to fund research aimed at revolutionizing drug manufacturing. Another 10-year pact is with Dana Farber Cancer Institute on cancer research. Novartis also collaborates with Harvard on research of systems biology and several different disease areas.
Fishman himself was hired away by Novartis from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was chief of cardiology and director of its cardiovascular research center.
In an interview in Boston last May, Novartis chairman Daniel L. Vasella said his decision to base the company?s research headquarters in Cambridge rather than in Europe was sharply questioned by others at its Basel, Switzerland, home offices.
?They became second-class citizens in their minds,?? Vasella said of how Novartis?s Cambridge employees were viewed in Switzerland. ?But that has completely vanished now,?? he said, and Novartis has since intensified research collaborations across the Atlantic.
Fishman said the research underway in Cambridge focuses on five areas: oncology, cardiovascular diseases and metabolism, ophthalmology, infectious diseases, and muscle strength. The new facility on Massachusetts Avenue will allow the firm to add employees in all those areas. It will also enable Novartis to consolidate many of the operations that are now split among 10 different locations in the city.
And while Novartis has expanded in Switzerland and in Shanghai, where it is building a $1 billion complex of offices and labs, the Cambridge labs are the leading edge of the company?s many different research efforts. The company is trying to develop a pipeline of more than a dozen drug compounds and vaccines, including one for the treatment of rare auto-inflammatory disorders such as Muckle-Wells Syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the body?s own tissues.
The Cambridge site also leads Novartis?s pursuit of a new way of researching and developing drugs: understanding the so-called molecular pathways between and among cells, in essence mapping the fundamental biological connections in the body to better understand how diseases form and grow within human tissue.
?It?s the new grammar of drug discovery,?? said Fishman. ?The process that causes disease in one tissue is closely related to those that do so in others.??
::snicker::Both Fishman and Patrick both teased Maher over the zoning relief that Novartis will need to build such a large, multi-use building.
?We love it here and we know we can count on you to help us get this,? Fishman told Maher.
?I want to thank and acknowledge the mayor of Cambridge, David Maher, and the city manager of Cambridge, Bob Healy,? Patrick added later. ?I would do that under any circumstances because they are terrific leaders and wonderful partners but I was asked especially to love them up because I think they have to approve something. Let?s be clear, we want you to approve this.
Opinion: MIT Investment Management Company disregards the City of Cambridge
Cooperation between MIT and the City are crucial to the future of both
By Kenneth E. Reeves
October 29, 2010
Editor?s note: This was an open letter was addressed to MIT President Susan Hockfield.
It is with deep regret that I inform you that, Mr. Steven Marsh, of the MIT Investment Management Company, through his disrespectful, duplicitous and deceitful behavior, toward me and my colleagues in the City of Cambridge, no longer merits the confidence that I once had in the Institute?s honest and fair dealings with its host community.
I realize that these are strong statements but, as I value you as a leader that wants the best for MIT and the Cambridge community at large, I must be candid in the hope that you will give this matter your personal attention.
Since he took up his post at MIT Mr. Marsh, has demonstrated his utter lack of vision and imagination regarding MIT?s long term interests as well as a respect for the City of Cambridge. Early in his time in Cambridge he engineered the repurchase of Technology Square from the Beacon Companies without ever giving the City Manager or the City Council any forewarning of his actions. Actions that undermined the long term financial planning for Cambridge that our City Manager had worked so hard to establish. That behind the scenes purchase put at risk over 10 percent of the City?s tax base and resulted in a rare but vigorous denunciation of the Institute from the City Manager. This insensitive and unseemly behavior resulted in a demand on the part of the City for a new Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement which gave the city some protection but will also result in substantially greater costs to the Institute when property is removed from the tax roles for academic purposes. The lack of simple courtesy and respect for the city?s interest exhibited by Mr. Marsh will prove to be costly for all parties in the future.
Mr. Marsh, as an accountant, appears to be true to his profession in reflecting a primary concern for the bottom line and his own personal financial interest. We understand from the listing of the top ten salaried employees at MIT, as reported to the IRS, that he stands among them. We have seen that ?he knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.? An example of this is his behavior at properties controlled by MIT in Central Square. Some years ago, MIT and the City of Cambridge embarked on a joint effort to house two new theater Companies in a building owned by MIT in Central Square. The ground floor of that building was designated for retail purposes. The theater companies have done a splendid job of bringing new life into Central Square but MIT Real Estate has, for four years left the very prominent retail space on the ground floor empty. The windows of this critically located 11,000 square feet of space are covered with the deadly For Rent placards. The space has been empty because Mr. Marsh insists on getting $45 per square foot in an area which cannot support that rent. Therefore MIT has lost over $2 million dollars in rent over the last four years while the space sat empty. Many attractive and credit worthy tenants have attempted to rent the space at a more reasonable rate but have been refused. For example, Central Bottle, a wine and cheese shop and Flour a wonderful new bakery/cafe finally gave up and took up residence in the Novartis building where they were offered similar space at half the cost. The life and energy that they have contributed to Mass. Ave. is amazing. I must also say that their investment in creating a new retail environment on the street has added a measure of safety to the neighborhood that MIT students have complained about for years.
Mr. Marsh?s insistence on a high rate of return in the theatre building retail space has resulted in him turning away, among others, a wonderful fish restaurant, The Daily Catch, recommended for that space by the Cambridge Office of Tourism and a Middle Eastern restaurant. They were very frustrated with Mr. Marsh and the lack of communication with the MIT Real Estate Office. His policies have had other consequences. The large expanse of ?For Rent? signage in the theatre building has contributed to the general sense of decline in Central Square. Rather than making a contribution to its revitalization it has conveyed a sense of failure. This sense translates, in spite of the many young entrepreneurs wanting to get started in the square and willing to give it their all, a resistance on the part of lenders when they see how little regard MIT has for the area.
But, the theatre building is not an exception. Mr. Marsh has allowed a prominent store front on Massachusetts Avenue, close to the museum, to remain vacant for over a year.
It is a menacing vista along a well traveled sidewalk that does MIT?s reputation as a supporter of street life no good. It is particularly painful to see this since several young entrepreneurs just a few steps away at the Miracle of Science and Middlesex restaurants have shown what can be done to enliven the street.
Mr. Marsh?s reputation in the city for creative retail development is at a very low point. His failure at Tech Square with a large Polcari Restaurant that did not last a year provides additional evidence of his lack of talent in the retail area. It is rumored that he lost a million dollars of MIT?s money on that one mistake. His decision to eliminate the one pharmacy and cosmetic shop in Kendall Square in favor of a Fidelity sales office has been one of the greatest negatives to the area. Every retail survey that I have seen has the need for a public pharmacy in Kendall Square at the top of the list.
To now entrust Mr. Marsh and his associates with the responsibility to lead MIT?s contribution to bringing creative solutions to Cambridge?s major opportunity centers, centers that will shape the quality of life for MIT and Cambridge residents for years to come seems very unwise.
I mentioned at the beginning of this letter Mr. Marsh?s capacity for deception and deceit and I want to share with you the latest example of his capacity for duplicity and disrespect for this public official.
Last week I was invited by Mr. Marsh, his associate Mr. Owu, and Sarah Gallop to meet the consultant they had hired to provide fresh ideas for Kendall Square. I gladly accepted the invitation in the hope that given their inexperience and lack of success in the past, they might have found someone who could help them move in a new direction.
During this two hour meeting and presentation we discussed all of the MIT properties in Kendall and Central Square. In fact, I specifically brought to their attention the dead spaces in MIT properties on Massachusetts Avenue between Central Square and 77 Mass. Ave. I made specific reference to the properties between University Park and the MIT Dormitory. In a word, I found their consultant to lack the most rudimentary capacity for the vision and boldness that is necessary to make the changes needed. The biggest of her ?big? ideas included an MIT Press/ Coop Book fair, a diner and an outdoor grill for Kendall Square.
Two hours after this meeting I ran into Attorney James Rafferty and three Forest City principals. Mr. Rafferty told me that Forest City was announcing, to the City Manager, development plans for the MIT properties between University Park and the MIT dormitory. Mr. Marsh et al, never even hinted that the future of the block was being discussed. Furthermore, he had not mentioned that Novartis was to acquire the development rights of land that we have been led to believe, in the past, was destined for future academic building expansion.
I found this clandestine and deceptive behavior deeply disturbing. That your staff would treat a city official with such disdain, an official that must vote on desired zoning changes in Central and Kendall Square, unacceptable and indicative of an attitude of a person which I urge you to remove from MIT?s service at the earliest possible time. Mr. Marsh later sent a letter of apology.
That MIT would assign to Forest City the responsibility for developing this key part of Massachusetts Avenue is evidence only of Mr. Marsh?s desire to close deals which I presume he will profit from. Forest City had demonstrated little if any capacity to generate the kind of lively retail activity along Massachusetts Ave. they have produced, rather a completely dead zone both along Massachusetts Avenue and within the park. No one goes to University Park that does not live there and the park has been designed to deter its use by the public.
My good faith in the MIT Real Estate Office has been shattered. I cannot simply go on faith that the MIT Real Estate Office, as currently structured and led, can be trusted either for honest discussions or for the quality of design and retail selection that we both hope for.
Finally, I will be recommending that the City of Cambridge Community Development Department engage a consultant to closely monitor the overall future development of Kendall Square. In Central Square, as the chairperson of the Mayor?s Blue Ribbon Commission on Central Square, we have been charged to make recommendations for its improvement within the year. MIT is a key stakeholder in this endeavor but I can no longer trust Mr. Marsh to represent MIT honestly and openly.
Madam President, I regard you highly and I take great pride in the global importance of MIT. You are, I know, fully committed to making this city a better place for all of us who live and work here. I regret that Mr. Marsh is not the person with the imagination, vision or integrity that will help you make the important contributions that MIT can make in fulfilling our hopes. To quote Frederick Douglass, ?Where there is no vision, the people perish.?
Finally, reflecting on a town you know well, Henry Fernandez, former Director of Community Development for the much improved downtown of New Haven told us on a recent visit, ?When the representatives of a large institution like Yale ignore the importance of creating a lively retail environment in its business district, then discussions at the Presidential level are essential to change that behavior.?
Madam, we are there.
Your direct intercession and help are needed if a good outcome is to occur.
Kenneth E. Reeves is a Cambridge City Councillor and former mayor.
The picture is just a massing diagram. I'm not too keen on the the green space but I'm sure Cambridge is forcing them.Novartis selects Maya Lin as architect for new complex
By John A. Hawkinson
April 1, 2011
Novartis has selected Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., as the architect and designer of its new campus to be built on Massachusetts Avenue just north of MIT, at the former Analog Devices site, between Albany Street and Windsor Street.
Novartis discussed Lin?s selection at a presentation before Cambridge?s zoning committee on Tuesday evening. Novartis is seeking two zoning changes: to permit an increase in maximum height from 120 feet to 140 feet, and to increase the permitted gross floor area from 415,250 sq. ft. to 528,500 sq. ft.
The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research?s east campus will include MIT Building N42, a 30,000-square-foot ?castle?-like building currently home to the Information Systems and Technology computing helpdesk. While the new campus will primarily be research facilities, Novartis envisions N42 containing a daycare center or gathering space, ?adaptable for a softer use.? The N42 building, at 211 Mass Ave, will keep its current appearance. Both the Analog Devices parcel and N42 are being leased from MIT.
Maya Lin designed the Memorial Wall in 1981 while she was an undergraduate at Yale University, winning the public design competition. Since then, she has produced numerous public works of art and has branched out into architecture, generally smaller buildings. Lin, who lives in New York City, recently designed a new building for the Museum of Chinese in America in New York. Lin?s website showcases much of her work (http://www.mayalin.com).
Lin was at MIT in October giving the annual Page Hazlegrove Lecture in Glass Art. Peter B. Houk, director of the MIT Glass Lab, said, ?the selection of Maya Lin is great here because of her dual talents as artist and architect. So much of her work in both public art and architecture has been about sensitivity to the site and surroundings, and not just focused on a building by itself, on a lot.?
Philip L. Khoury, MIT?s associate provost who focuses on arts, called Lin ?a wonderful choice to design the Novartis campus next to MIT,? in an email. ?She is a tremendously talented artist and architect who at a very young age became a legend.?
Novartis zoning changes
Novartis?s presentation before the Cambridge Planning Board was well-received. Jeffrey Lockwood, Novartis?s global head of communications, described Novartis? desire to be part of the Cambridge community and how drug discovery is ?one of the most complex endeavors on the planet ? a combination of science, art, and serendipity.?
Lockwood emphasized that Novartis has collaborations with MIT, Harvard, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Mass. General Hospital, and the Broad Institute.
The design of the project was presented by Thomas Sieniewicz of Chan Krieger NBBJ?s Harvard Square office, who is collaborating with Lin. He called Lin ?incredibly sensitive to site and place.?
Sieniewicz said Novartis intends to ?create a campus in a city that?s full of campuses ? and that?s not a mistake.?
Sieniewicz described a site plan (see figure) with a large open green central space in an area with ?virtually no green space?; low building height near Mass. Ave. and taller sections bordering Osborne and St. and State St. The height increase is being requested to account for the space lost by keeping the Mass Ave. heights low, consistent with the surrounding buildings.
Novartis intends to hire a second architect to design one of the structures, ?so it won?t be one hand,? Sieniewicz said. Lin will design the building that wraps from Mass Ave, around Albany St. and down Osborne St. Lockwood said that they have the second architect narrowed down and would have an agreement ?in the near future.?
There will also be retail property along Mass. Ave, they said.
The one public comment was offered by Charles Marquardt, a former Cambridge City Council candidate and local activist, who was wildly enthusiastic about the rezoning and Novartis? plans.
Iram Farooq, a project planner with the City?s department of Community Development offered many technical comments on zoning issues, but they are not critical of the petition.
Novartis has hired local attorney James Rafferty to guide them through the permitting process, and Rafferty led the presentation before the board. Rafferty is a fixture of the Cambridge licensing and zoning establishments, and enjoys the respect of and familiarity with the board members.
Rafferty noted that the 20-foot height increase was accompanied by a 50-foot height decrease elsewhere.
It remains unclear whether the green space and courtyard would be open and accessible to the public, or whether they would be gated.
Novartis? existing campus, west of Mass. Ave., has public pedestrian walkways through it, but they are bounded by imposing black metal gates which are open during daytime hours. Lockwood said he did not know if the new campus would be similarly gated.
Reaction of the planning board
The zoning board was uniformly positive in reaction to the zoning petition, and it appeared Novartis had a lot of credibility in their eyes, likely as a result of its successful efforts at revitalizing the former Necco factory that currently houses its campus west of Mass. Ave.
The board was conscious of the number of projects being proposed in this area of Cambridge and of the potential interaction between Novartis? and MIT?s upcoming Kendall Square proposal, as well as Forest City?s proposal for the Mass Ave. block just north of Random Hall. Forest City?s formal petition for zoning changes was submitted to the City Council on Feb. 28 and is scheduled to be discussed by the zoning board at the end of April.
No explicit dates were given for when a decision would be made about the zoning petition. It goes before the Cambridge Ordinance Committee next week, and the Ordinance Committee and zoning board may take several months to make a recommendation to the City Council, though the planning board expressed a desire to move expeditiously in this case.
The petition will also be considered by the City?s consultants examining the Kendall Square to Central Square region, said Assistant City Manager Brian Murphy. Murphy said that the consultants had been selected and would be announced at next Monday?s Cambridge City Council meeting.
Maya Lin, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment for this article, siting contractual confidentiality restrictions.