News Column

Boston Scientific, Among Others, Making Moves

Nov. 9, 2012

Greg Turner, Boston Herald

Major employers in MetroWest played another round of musical chairs yesterday as Boston Scientific made plans to move its headquarters to Marlboro and leave its Natick campus behind for software maker MathWorks.

Starting next spring, the medical device giant will shift about 800 jobs to the three-building Marlboro campus it bought in 2004 while in expansion mode.

"Consolidating our ... facilities is expected to foster greater collaboration and efficiency, benefitting our employees, our customers and, ultimately, the patients they treat," said new CEO Mike Mahoney.

Meanwhile, MathWorks is finalizing a deal to buy Boston Scientific's campus even as it finishes constructing a fourth building at its own bustling base a mile away on Route 9 where it employs 1,800.

"MathWorks is fortunate to be in a growth mode, and is pleased at the prospect of expanding into such a renowned property ... situated so close to our current campus," said Jeanne O'Keefe, MathWorks' finance chief.

Boston Scientific has occupied its three-building campus between the Natick Mall and Lake Cochituate since 1995. The site was previously home to Prime Computer in the 1980s and Carling's Brewery in the '70s.

The moves represent a win-win situation for Marlboro and Natick, suburbs known for their major corporations and job centers, according to Garry Holmes, a top MetroWest broker working for MathWorks.

"When the timing hits and you need some expansion space, there's only so many places they can make these big numbers work," said Holmes, president of R.W. Holmes Realty in Wayland. "I think it's a real positive and good to see these companies take advantage of the opportunities."

Marlboro's office vacancy rate spiked to 32 percent, the worst in Massachusetts, amid a corporate exodus that ended when retailer TJX said it would buy a campus Fidelity Investments was dumping for out-of-state digs, and Quest Diagnostics said it would fill an old Hewlett-Packard site with 1,200 workers.

"Companies continue to view Marlboro as an optimal location for their operations," said Tim Cummings, head of the city's economic development agency.

TJX subsequently purchased its longtime headquarters on the Natick-Framingham line. The operator of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls expects to eventually employ 1,600 at each campus.

The MathWorks growth will help make up for Natick losing longtime tenant BJ's Wholesale Club to Westboro. BJ's filled a former National Grid space.

Westboro is where the music started playing five years ago, when Framingham-based Bose expanded into an office complex abandoned by Hopkinton-based tech giant EMC.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 the Boston Herald

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