An Incredible Journey on Behalf of Patients

Takeda (formerly Shire) at Lexington Technology Park
Lexington, Massachusetts

SMMA was first introduced to the Lexington Technology Park campus in 2002, when our client, Atlantic Management, acquired the 95-acre property from Raytheon Corporation. From SMMA’s first site visit, we recognized the scope and importance of the property: It served as a global headquarters to Raytheon, and although the landscape and the buildings were of a different era, they were unique. 

Atlantic Management was a careful steward of the property, and realized that its best re-use should respect the land’s character and value. The team began by reviewing the redevelopment options, ultimately arriving at the conclusion that commercial office, residential, retail, and hotel development were not the optimal land uses. We sought an alternative that better allowed protection of the most significant features of the landscape.

In 2005, we began the process of rezoning the property for life science purposes, the motivations for which related to both land and business use. At that time, the development team noted a migration of life science firms from their traditional bases to more suburban settings, and Lexington was an ideal community for relocation—well-served by infrastructure and home to many scientists and engineers.

The land use also was ideal, with high-value, small-footprint buildings and relatively low parking requirements. This allowed SMMA to master-plan the campus around much of the existing infrastructure, and to protect the most distinctive and valuable natural areas.

To attract tenants, SMMA was commissioned for new design and renovations of the existing Raytheon headquarters. SMMA’s scope included architectural and site design, including design of the signature interior courtyard.

Looking to the Past to Protect the Future

SMMA and Atlantic Management master-planned one million square feet of life science space, securing approval from both state and town agencies. Our primary goal was to allow flexibility for future life science tenants, but within the constraints of development envelopes, to protect open space. One particular exercise involved studying the characteristics of the drainage patterns existent prior to any commercial development of the property, which had begun circa 1955, and subsequently designing infrastructure to recreate the pre-development water quality and quantities. The ultimate stormwater-management goal in 1955 remained unchanged in 2015: Protect the downstream water supply in the Hobbs Brook Reservoir.

In 2005, Shire signed its first lease at Lexington Tech Park. SMMA was retained directly by Shire, marking the beginning of our decade-long relationship, as well as continuing our design services for Atlantic Management.

A Win-Win Result

The expansion and redevelopment of the property has been mutually beneficial for Shire and the Town of Lexington. Shire has maintained its position as a global leader in developing therapies for rare disorders, with Lexington as its center for research and development. The employee population of the campus is in the process of expanding to over 2,000, positioning Lexington as a hub for new jobs. All of this has been accomplished via the master plan, which emphasized the preservation of the character of the landscape and natural resources, the essence of the property.

To date, SMMA has provided civil engineering and landscape design services for approximately 400,000 square feet of new manufacturing and research building construction on the campus, as well as architecture, interior design, and structural engineering services throughout Shire's operations.

Permitting at Lexington Technology Park: A Timeline

2002: SMMA assists Patriot Partners with the acquisition and master planning of the former Raytheon property 

2004: Town Meeting approves re-zoning of land to a planned commercial district to include life science and manufacturing uses

2007: Shire moves to the site

2007 - 2008: SMMA leads a number of permitting efforts for ongoing and future development, including:

  • Filing an environmental notification form with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act for the expansion of the park to 630,000 square feet of building space—includes a review of stormwater design, wetland resources, water supply, wastewater, traffic impacts, and historical assets
  • Filing with the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit and site plan approval for the construction of 400 Shire Way, a 212,000-square-foot pharmaceutical manufacturing and office building, and a definitive site development and use plan to demonstrate conformance with the preliminary site development and use plan approved at Town Meeting in 2004
  • Filing a notice of intent with the Conservation Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for the proposed development of 400 Shire Way and the future development of 200 and 300 Shire Way

2009: Lexington Town Meeting approves another expansion of the Park, increasing building space to 1,076,600 square feet

2010: Shire purchases the campus

In addition to the larger projects noted above, SMMA has performed numerous civil and landscape work throughout Shire’s campus, including:

  • A new primary electric-service infrastructure project, over 200 feet in length, that included filing a notice of intent with the Conservation Commission
  • A site lighting and walkway project that included filing a request for determination with the Conservation Commission
  • An upgrade of pre-existing parking for ADA/MAAB compliance
  • Zoning Board of Appeals permitting and site design for microbulk tank containment at 125 Spring Street
  • Assistance with the design and execution of 35+ acres of restricted conservation space
  • Continued consulting for various projects and proposals for development