A sweet spot for Novartis

SEPT. 25–CAMBRIDGE, MA–Novartis AG has signed a rather sweet lease when it rented 500,000 square feet of renovated office and laboratory space in the old Necco wafer candy factory here on Massachusetts Avenue, according to the Swiss biotech heavyweight.

That lease will extend Novartis’s presence in Cambridge well beyond the 200,000 square feet the company leased at nearby 100 Technology Square, in Kendall Square.

The New England Confectionary Co. complex, which is located between MIT and Central Square, will be available once the candy company moves out early in 2003 and the six-story structure is completely renovated.

According to The Boston Globe, the real estate group DSF Advisors LLC completed the full-building lease with Novartis after weeks of intense negotiations concerning the cost of cleaning up the former candy factory and other issues. Details on the length and cost of the lease were not available.

Necco, known for its trademark wafers and candy hearts, has been making candy at the 254 Massachusetts Ave. complex since 1926. DSF took ownership of the property after ushering Necco into the former Woodworkers Warehouse in Revere, MA, which after additions will be an 800,000-square-foot headquarters facility.

Cambridge has become a booming biotech center in recent years, and remains a hot spot for real estate, despite increasing vacancy rates over the past year. The Novartis presence would complement Amgen, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and other high-profile firms.


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