Breakthrough Properties

105 West First Street

Project at a Glance

Boston, MA


Life Sciences

Project Type

New Construction

Project Overview

  • New construction within tight property line limits bordered by DOT roadway, bridge and an adjacent zero-lot-line building
  • Installation of a unitized curtain wall system sourced from Italy with integrated terracotta panels from Germany
  • Communal building amenities include public lobby space with a cafe and meeting areas as well as a floor of lab space for tenant collaboration

Breakthrough Properties, a life science real estate development company, launched by Tishman Speyer and Bellco Capital, acquired its first development site at 105 West First Street in Boston’s Seaport District. The new construction, located on a one-acre site, is an eight-story life science research and development. Building amenities include a below-grade fitness center, covered parking for 35 spaces, ground-floor retail, and communal wet labs and innovation and technology incubator space.

The project’s scope included the demolition of an existing 1980’s two-story structure and grading of the sloping site with a unique 15-foot elevation variance from one side to the other. Complex site conditions dictate the use of drilled H-piles and lagging along the perimeter with an internal raker system to allow for one-sided walls and spread footings at the perimeter and core areas. The steel building’s façade was procured with a design-assist contract and is comprised of a unitized VisionGlass and terracotta wall system. Interior fit-out work for the core/shell construction was limited to the building common areas and amenity spaces with the majority of the floors prepped with all necessary infrastructure to accommodate future life science tenants.

The building achieved LEED Gold v4 Core and Shell certification and  incorporates strategies outlined by the City of Boston’s Climate Change Preparedness and Resiliency guidelines and was built with a flood preparedness plan.