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Polaris Ventures opening new Innovation District headquarters next year

Posted by Scott Kirsner  September 13, 2013 10:43 AM

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The latest venture capital firm to plant its investors in Boston's Innovation District is Polaris Venture Partners, which bankrolls tech and life sciences companies. The firm just leased the 10th floor of One Marina Park Drive, the waterfront tower right next door to Vertex Pharmaceuticals' future headquarters and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Its building-mates will include Battery Ventures, the MassChallenge startup accelerator, and EnerNOC, the publicly-traded energy management company.

Polaris isn't abandoning its long-time Waltham digs just yet; co-founder Terry McGuire tells me the lease there still has a couple years left, and some partners may prefer to work in the suburbs for the time being. "We're going to be in Waltham for a while," he says. "We'll have a presence in both places. We clearly want to have a stronger presence in the city, and we love what's going on in the Seaport area."

But Polaris partner Dave Barrett, who is overseeing the deal, says that the Boston office "will ultimately be our new headquarters." He says it is about 16,000 square feet, the majority of the 10th floor.

Polaris was an investor in LogMeIn, the remote access company that moved from the 'burbs to the Innovation District over the summer, and also Spindle, a startup based there that was snapped up by Twitter in June. Spindle co-founder Pat Kinsel is now an entrepreneur-in-residence at Polaris.

Polaris also operates a co-working space for entrepreneurs in Kendall Square called DogPatch Labs. That facility, which once offered free rent to select entrepreneurs, began charging occupants earlier this year. Barrett says the firm hasn't yet decided whether the DogPatch entrepreneurs will eventually move to the Marina Park Drive office: "We're still thinking that through, and working that through."

Will the last VC firm left on Mount Money turn out the lights?

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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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