Indigo Looks to Expand Further Onto Rutherford Avenue

The quickly expanding Indigo agriculture research company is growing faster than the seeds it seeks to improve, and this week they announced they will be looking to move new lab space into what is now a warehouse at 440 Rutherford Ave.

The building is in the Bunker Hill Industrial Park and is directly abutting the Hood Park campus where Indigo has leased all available portions of that campus.

Christine McMahon, who is representing the company for permitting purposes, told the Patriot Bridge that Indigo is planning to build out about 5,000 sq. ft. of research and development lab space in the warehouse. That warehouse is owned by Capital Court Properties – a New York company that once tried to redevelop the old Boston Globe building in Dorchester and has successfully developed luxury housing recently on Boston Common. They purchased the property in 2015 for a large price and have never said much about what they plan to do.

They could not be contacted in time for this story.

Indigo, on the other hand, has not been shy about its surging business and its desire to stay in Charlestown.

“They’re building it out for labs and research development, which is what they have been doing at their other location at 500 Rutherford Avenue,” said McMahon. “This would be about a 5,000 sq. ft. build-out…Indigo is a great company and excited about continuing to expand in Boston.”

McMahon said they had a lease on the space (which encompasses only a small part of the large building), but could not yet share the terms. She said the build out is extensive, but they do not have a contractor yet and, thus, don’t have a cost estimate.

The expansion to the abutting property from Hood runs in conjunction with the ongoing discussion to build what would be a new world headquarters for Indigo in a 230-foot tall building on the Hood campus. For months, Hood Park and the community have been meeting to speak about that proposed project and the redevelopment of the entire campus. However, it has been the Indigo project which has driven the conversation, as Hood would like to begin construction on the new office building this summer.

In those conversations, it has been revealed that Indigo has added hundreds of employees in the last year at its Charlestown lab space, and has run out of room.

Mark Rosenshein, of Trademark Partners, has been helping to run that process and has said Indigo needs the building as soon as it can be built. They would occupy about three-quarters of the space.

This week, he said they support the expansion at 440 Rutherford Ave.

“The researchers and scientists at Indigo are changing the agriculture industry by bringing innovation and sustainability to the challenge of feeding the planet through climate change, and we are thrilled that Indigo will continue to grow and invest right here in Charlestown,” he said.

The move requires Zoning Board approval for a conditional use, and an abutter’s meeting is scheduled for tonight, Feb. 28, in the Indigo Space, Room 201, 500 Rutherford Ave., 6 p.m.

The proposal does not yet have a date at the Zoning Board, but expects one in May.

•A somewhat controversial new high-rise digital billboard location on the Owen’s property at Spice Street – which is now a school bus lot – has been continued once again to the May 7 Zoning Board meeting. The proposal would encompass buiding a tower pole up to the height of the highway, and attaching two digital faces on the pole.

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