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Around this time three years ago, while most of us navigated pandemic life, real estate developers across Greater Boston looked to life-science laboratories, and saw dollar signs.

The white-collar office workers who’d long filled downtown towers were largely staying home (unless they worked in commercial real estate). The future of cities had rarely been murkier.


But many biotech companies, like Cambridge’s Moderna, were busier than ever, and growing fast. Life-science companies, and the lab buildings that house them, looked like a sure bet for investors. Money poured in to drug companies by the billions — from venture capitalists, the stock market, the National Institutes of Health. And big real estate investors followed, launching a wave of speculative lab development all over Greater Boston.

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