Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Thomas J. Andrews, Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Thomas J. Andrews

Alexandria in Boston

Editors’ Note

Thomas Andrews has served in his current post since January 2011. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Regional Market Director (Greater Boston) and as Vice President, Regional Market Director (Greater Boston). Prior to that, Andrews served first as Assistant Director and later as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Research Park in Worcester, Massachusetts. Andrews received his Master of Science degree from the Center for Real Estate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University.

What excited you about the opportunity to join Alexandria Real Estate Equities and what made you feel it was the right fit?

Alexandria was well-capitalized and had a well-defined strategy addressing a market niche with which I was very familiar, since I had spent 11 years developing and managing the Biotech Park in Worcester.

Would you provide an overview of Alexandria’s activities in the Greater Boston region and can you talk about where the growth is coming from?

When I started with Alexandria in 1999, the company had a handful of properties totaling about 400,000 square feet in suburban Boston with nothing in Cambridge. Now we have over 4.3 million square feet of operating properties and nearly 900,000 square feet of development and redevelopment projects underway. For the past several years, we have focused our investment on urban campus locations like Alexandria Technology Square® and the Alexandria Center® at Kendall Square in Cambridge. We believe that Boston and Cambridge constitute the most concentrated and dynamic life science cluster in the world. We have all of the ingredients for a successful cluster: basic science pioneered by our leading universities, medical schools, teaching hospitals, and research institutes; experienced entrepreneurs and supporting professionals who create and lead groundbreaking biopharma and tech companies; discerning venture capitalists and other funding sources; and an unparalleled pool of scientific and managerial talent.

For new development, will there be a consistent feel and design or will it be customized to the specific market?

Our newest buildings in Cambridge and Longwood Medical Area do not necessarily look alike from an architectural standpoint. However, we try to consistently provide attractive and interesting ground-floor retail, lobbies, and gathering spaces, often with outdoor seating and other amenities, which ultimately enable our tenants to attract and retain the best talent.

How has your client profile evolved?

Today we are seeing a convergence of life science and technology enterprises – for example, use of “big data” statistics to inform clinical trials. We think this convergence is fostered and enhanced when companies are in close proximity to one another. We also find that life science and technology companies share a desire to locate in places where they attract the best talent so our real estate holdings appeal to both life science and tech companies.

What advantages does Boston offer for life science, biotech, and tech industries and is that market still a leader in this space?

In the life science community, especially with regard to the development of new cutting-edge medicines, the Boston region has had a significant head start and retains many advantages over other clusters, not the least of which is the dense geographic concentration of leading institutions and companies in a small section of Cambridge.•