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Boston’s Red Line: A Hotbed For Innovation



On Thursday, biotech company Novartis broke ground on a new facility in Kendall Square that will expand their global headquarters for bio-medical research.

Startups are itching for Kendall Square addresses but as biotech and Internet giants continue to expand in the neighborhood, space is expensive and increasingly hard to come by.

As a result, companies are spreading out along Red Line and the trend is changing Greater Boston’s tech landscape.



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  • Anonymous

    Why on God’s Green Earth would Cambridge be where you would want to develop companies?


    A focus on building innovation Close to Home would make much more sense than building in  Cambridge which is close to Nothing.  God forbid the employees be allowed to have a Life.

    Why not put them in Waltham or Canton?  (ie other places nobody wants to commute to every day for work)

    • Kelly Bean

      Lotsa folks live here.  But they are mostly young.  Many people head out of the city to find housing they can afford to raise families.  For those of us who have stuck around in Cambridge beyond our 20′s we may have small condos but we enjoy many great neighborhoods with small parks, good schools, and locally owned businesses. Plus we spend less time and money on commuting.  

    • Dom Manganelli

      The food options are fantastic, you can bike everywhere, and you can have a great social life with the best bars around and lots of non-drinking family-type activities. Cambridge is pretty sweet.

  • Anonymous

    I think you meant a Hot Bed of Innovation along the Red Line. 

  • Burtonklein

    The Red Line will someday be called ‘The Red Tech Line.’  Just a hunch. Burt Klein, Newton

  • Alex G.

    ^ What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

  • Alex G.

    More accurately, What you talkin’ ’bout, Call_Me_Missouri?
    down below

  • http://twitter.com/ChampionCoS Thomas P. Champion

    It’s a huge mistake to look at the MIT and Harvard tech spinoff expansion as a purely linear phenomenon that can only develop along the Red Line corridor.  Start-ups need space, skilled workers, and proximity to university labs.  All three can be had here in Somerville at Assembly Square.  And if the new Orange Line stop isn’t enough transit, then a simple para-transit bus shuttle like the one connecting the Longwood Medical Area to Harvard Sq. would provide a ten-minute connect from Kendall-MIT to the new mixed-use riverfront neighborhood at Assembly Square.  (At the same time, Assembly Square is much more accessible than Kendall-MIT  to the regional highway network . And one of the big problems with Kendall is that it’s deserted at night — few people LIVE there.  An ideal environment for tech-driven start-ups is a mixed-use district where people live, play and shop as well as work.  

  • Kelly Bean

    Two of the commenters have already pointed out the problem of the Kendall Square area.  The section between the Red Line station and the Gallaria Mall is a desert interspersed with some big office buildings like Genzyme and a Mormon Chapel.  There’s no grocery shopping, unless you count the Shaw’s on McGrath Highway.  There are few small local business like you might find in Inman Square to foster the type of happenstance conversations your guests seem to desire for such a corridor.  And you have to hike over to the Kendall Theater area before you get to good restaurants like The Hungry Mother, Emily’s or the Friendly Toast.  The area would do much better to add some amenities to make the neighborhood a place you might want to stick around in after you get out of work.

  • Alex G.

    Kelly Bean just dissed East Cambridge.  From what I understand, the problem with the type of business in Kendall Square is that MIT owns most of the buildings, from what I understand, and they have not wished to put retail stores at ground level.  On the other side of East Cambridge, the Galleria Mall would indeed kill most of the street-level business on that side.  In between Lechmere and Kendall Squares, it’s strictly residential.  And yes, I agree that East Somerville and Sullivan Square have more to offer.  Except they don’t have the hipster image that the Red Line does.

  • Tammy

    Call it the Tech Vector!

  • http://twitter.com/ursonate charlene mcbride

    It boils down to one simple thing: THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH.

    Maybe try Lowell. That’s what I’m doing.

  • Dom Manganelli

    I’m the resident geek at Geek Offices in Inman. It’s a good location, we have all the necessary amenities, and very flexible plans. Check us out! 

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