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May 25, 2022

MBI incubator to expand again, following $7M Briden St. purchase

Photo | Courtesy of MBI From left, Chair of the MBI Board of Directors, Bob Anderson; President and CEO of MBI, Jon Weaver; Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito; Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus; President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Kenneth Turner; Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Mike Kennealy; and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Joe Boncore

Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives will break ground Wednesday morning on an expanded biomanufacturing center in Worcester after purchasing the property for more than $7.1 million.

Worcester-based life sciences incubator MBI purchased three properties, including the site of the groundbreaking at 17 Briden St., on May 17, according to the Worcester South District Registry of Deeds. 

MBI already has a biomanufacturing center at 17 Briden St., which it was previously leasing, but will expand it to add 10 new biomanufacturing labs, according to a press release from the organization. The labs will support early stage clinical companies with trials, development, and manufacturing, and will be adding on to the 28 existing labs at the facility.

MBI’s first project at 17 Briden St. opened in mid-2020 and was fully occupied within 10 months, serving 26 companies, which have created 111 jobs, according to MBI. MBI has received interest from companies to occupy four of the 10 new labs.

Photo | Courtesy of MBI
MBI President and CEO Jon Weaver shares a graphic titled “BioPike” that demonstrates the density of the life sciences industry from Boston to Worcester.

MBI’s expansion is a partnership with Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a Waltham-based economic development public-private agency, which invested $3 million from its research infrastructure for the project. The expansion is estimated to cost a total of $5 million, per MBI’s press release.

The 50,000-square-foot property at 17 Briden St. is located next to Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Life Science Bioengineering Center and MBI’s other center at 60 Prescott St. An adjacent 7,000-square-foot building at 128 Prescott St. and a vacant land parcel at 30 Garden St. were also included in the $7-million deal. 

The properties included in the transaction were sold by three separate entities, all registered to Westborough-based manufacturer Coghlin Cos., according to the registry of deeds. In total, the properties are assessed by the City of Worcester at about $2.7 million.

Fidelity Bank is financing the purchase of the building, which was brokered by Worcester-based Kelleher & Sadowsky Associates, Inc. and Chicago-based JLL. Timberline Construction, headquartered in Canton, has been selected as the general contractor with Boston-based Ci Design performing the architectural work.

Construction is set to be completed in early 2023.

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