Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Dana-Farber celebrate new waterfront campus


  • January 29, 2007
barrett-rollins-and-mayor-menino.jpgDana-Farber's Chief Scientific Officer Barrett Rollins gives Boston Mayor Thomas Menino a tour of the new facility. 

Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined Dana-Farber Cancer Institute officials on Friday, January 26, as they celebrated the opening of their new administrative space in the Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP). Dana-Farber also announced that it will soon be moving some of their research operations its Harbor Campus as well to help address space constraint issues on its main campus in the Longwood Medical Area (LMA). Working with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), Dana-Farber has leased more than 49,000 square feet of space on the first and fourth floors of the Dry Dock Center at 27 Dry Dock Avenue.

Menino praised Dana-Farber for having the vision to establish the Harbor Campus, which will boost the development of a biotechnology corridor in the BMIP and reduce some traffic pressures in the LMA.

"It's long been a goal of my administration to encourage institutions within the LMA to consider surrounding areas, such as the Melnea Cass Corridor and the BMIP," Mayor Menino said. "Moving non-patient care activities to these areas makes sense and is a win-win for the city. It gives a boost to these underutilized spaces while at the same time lessening the congestion in the LMA."

Dana-Farber began extensive multi-stage renovation of the space last fall. The first phase was completed in December 2006 and now houses the materials management, health information services, transcription, coding, and the cancer registry departments. The second phase, currently underway, includes constructing space for specimen freezers and the research imaging facility, which will be equipped with the latest imaging technology, including two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and computed axial tomography (CT) scanner. Research laboratories will be built during the final phase, which is slated to begin in late 2007. There are currently 55 employees working at the Harbor Campus, and it is expected that more than 150 employees will work there when the renovations are complete in 2008.

"The development of the Harbor Campus comes at a critical time for Dana-Farber," said Barrett Rollins, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer at Dana-Farber. "We have experienced unprecedented growth in our patient volumes and our research programs and literally have run out of room to accommodate the need for additional clinical and research facilities. The Harbor Campus is providing essential research space and, given its wonderful views and location in a newly vibrant part of Boston, it likely will be in high demand by our investigators."

The seven-story Dry Dock Center was built by the federal government in the 1930s and used to process military draftees. Now owned by the BRA, the building is located within the Boston Marine Industrial Park, the largest industrial park in Massachusetts. The City of Boston purchased the 191 acre site in 1977 to create jobs and economic activity. Today, more than 3,500 jobs are based in the park.

In conjunction with relocating its receiving department to the Harbor Campus, Dana-Farber will reduce the amount of truck traffic in the LMA by relying more on a Just-in-Time inventory system and diverting multiple vehicles away from the Longwood area. All non-pharmaceutical and non-perishable food items will be delivered to the Harbor Campus, where it will be sorted and stored. The supplies then will be delivered to the main campus as needed.

The establishment of the Harbor Campus was a recent addition to the institutional master plan Dana-Farber developed to manage and forecast space needs. As part of this plan, Dana-Farber intends to build the Center for Cancer Care, a 13-story, 275,000 square foot state-of-the-art cancer care and clinical research building at the corner of Brookline Avenue and Jimmy Fund Way. The building is slated to be finished in early 2011. Miller Dyer Spears of Boston is overseeing the design of the Harbor Campus. Walsh Brothers, Inc. is the general contractor.

The Boston Marine Industrial Park is a top choice for companies looking to relocate because of its central location, excellent public transit, and proximity to downtown Boston and Logan Airport. In addition to location, the BRA, through its financial services department, is able to provide low-interest loans to help defray build-out costs. Additionally, the BMIP falls inside the city's Empowerment Zone (EZ), allowing employers who hire residents of the EZ to qualify for tax credits.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

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