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Huge biotech center gets green light

By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / June 4, 2010

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Cambridge officials yesterday approved development of what would be the region’s largest biotechnology complex, a 1.7 million-square-foot research center near Kendall Square.

The $1 billion development, planned by Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., will include five new buildings as well as restoration of several historic buildings on 11 acres along Binney Street.

The city’s planning board signed off on the project during a meeting yesterday.

“The Binney Street project is one of the most important developments of its kind and will further enhance Cambridge’s position as a world-leading center for life-science research and development,’’ said Tom Andrews, regional market director for Alexandria.

Alexandria has not announced a starting date for construction and is still looking for a main tenant.

The project is also slated to include two acres of public parks and a new transportation center for buses, bicycles, and vans.