2012: The Year in Review


View of Watermark II apartments under construction as seen from down the Broad Canal

Cambridge Continues to be the Heart of Innovation

2012 brought another great year for Cambridge business and development communities. At a time when construction starts continue to stagnate nationally, in 2012, Cambridge had 2.7 million square feet of major housing and commercial development projects break ground. This construction created a total investment of $520 million dollars and will produce 904 housing units. This development investment will continue to grow the innovation economy and sustain the diverse population of Cambridge.

Projects broke ground throughout the city, but Kendall Square saw a significant growth in lab, office and residential development. Amazon.com, Biogen, Google, Microsoft, Novartis and Pfizer are just a few of the high tech and life science companies that expanded in or moved to Kendall Square in 2012.  

Cambridge’s success is not just limited to established life sciences and high tech companies. Venture capital firms such as Atlas Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital, Matrix Partners and Charles River Ventures have moved their offices from the suburbs to Cambridge. Venture capital investments in Cambridge enterprises continue to grow as well. According to CB Insights, Cambridge companies received $305 million in venture capital funding in thirty transactions in the third quarter of 2012. This figure represents the highest number of deals and the most dollars invested in a single Massachusetts city. Only three states, California, Massachusetts and New York, had more venture capital deals than the city of Cambridge, and only four states had more investment of venture capital dollars.

Cambridge venture capital deals 2007 to 2012

2012 Groundbreaking Highlights:

  • EF Education: 295,000 square foot building to expand its North American Headquarters in the North Point district
  • Broad Institute: 250,000 square foot expansion in new building at Cambridge Center
  • Google: 42,000 square foot expansion at Cambridge Center
  • Novartis: 573,000 square foot expansion in a new building adjacent to MIT
  • Biogen Idec: 492,000 square foot expansion for their new headquarters in two new buildings
  • Pfizer: 188,000 square foot expansion in new building being developed with MIT
  • 223 Concord Avenue: 227 new housing units
  • 70 Fawcett Street: 429 new housing units

Cambridge in the News:

Economic development word cloud graphic