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Could Highland Capital Partners be the next venture firm to leave the 'burbs behind?

Posted by Scott Kirsner  March 18, 2011 03:51 PM

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I'm told that Highland Capital Partners is planning to abandon their suburban digs alongside Route 2 in Lexington for Cambridge. They'd join venture capital firms like Atlas Venture, Greylock, and Bessemer Venture Partners in leaving the 'burbs behind for the bustle of the planet's smartest city.

It sounds like Highland hasn't yet signed a lease, but has been mainly looking in Kendall Square. One source at another venture firm told me he thought Highland might wind up at Four Cambridge Center or One Broadway, the MIT-owned building that also houses the Cambridge Innovation Center. Update: Real estate industry sources say that Highland has zeroed in on the top floor of One Broadway.

Paul Maeder, a Highland co-founder, wasn't saying much this afternoon, beyond confirming that the firm was in the market for new space, and noting that partner Sean Dalton is handling the search. He's working with Bill Anderson of Cushman & Wakefield.

Maeder and Highland's other founder, Bob Higgins, both reside in Cambridge, as does partner Dan Nova. Back in the dot-com days, when I profiled Nova for Boston Magazine, Highland was headquartered in downtown Boston, at International Place.

InnoSight, the consulting firm founded by Clay Christensen of Harvard Business School, will be moving into Highland's current space in Lexington.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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