Related Beal Quickly Files Intentions to Build Lab Space on Newly Purchased Property

Just a few days after saying they were excited to engage the public and elected officials in Charlestown on potential uses for newly-acquired property on Rutherford Avenue, developer Related Beal went ahead and filed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) to build a 101,000 sq. ft. life sciences building on one of the sites.

Last week, it was reported that Related Beal had purchased three parcels on Rutherford Avenue – which included the CubeSmart building – and was preparing to engage the community on the future of those parcels, which they bought for almost $75 million.

Just days after saying that, though, they filed the LOI with the City to make it known they intended to demolish the CubeSmart building at 420 Rutherford Ave. and build a new, three-story, 101,000 sq. ft. research and development structure. The other two parcels – 440 Rutherford and 6 Bunker Hill Industrial Park – already have buildings occupied with life sciences uses, read the LOI.

“At this site (420 Rutherford), the Proponent proposes to replace and existing, two-story self-storage facility with a new, three-story, research and development building,” read the letter. “The new building would match the building height, setbacks, and sidewalk conditions of the adjacent six-story multi-family residential building at 50 Hood Park Drive (The Harvey). As is true today, parking for the site would be provided in a common parking lot shared with the industrial building at 440 Rutherford Avenue.”

While the building is three stories tall, it would reach a maximum of 75 feet tall with roof equipment necessary for lab uses, making it about the same height as The Harvey residential building on Hood Park.

The project would also finish off what is called ‘Half Pint Drive,’ a small road that is meant to connect Hood Park to Bunker Hill Industrial Park, but has not been finished. This project proposes to finish off that road and turn it over for public travel.

One key provision completely missing from the filing is any mention of the now 18 month old PLAN Charlestown master plan process – which focuses heavily on that part of Rutherford Avenue in its quest to institute new zoning and uses for the Town. In other filings for new projects, PLAN Charlestown has been mentioned, but this project indicates it will go through the normal and existing zoning processes without contemplation of the upcoming changes resulting from PLAN Charlestown. Those recommended changes are expected in early 2022.

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