215 First Street, Alexandria Real Estate

Cambridge, MA


Also known as The Athenaeum Building, 215 First Street is part of the Alexandria Real Estate’s prized Cambridge portfolio. The REIT chose Timberline as its construction partner in repositioning the property. The goal: update and modernize the building in keeping with the exuberance of the surrounding neighborhood while maintaining the historic integrity of this C1865 building.

A major undertaking has been transforming and expanding the existing lobby into an amenity-rich community hub for tenants. A multi-phase initiative and gut rehabilitation, the enhanced lobby will feature a sleek coffee bar, collaborative spaces, high-end finishes, decorative lighting and wayfinding to create a contemporary welcoming environment. A state of the art 15’x 15’ media wall serves as the lobby’s dynamic centerpiece and added amenity for tenant-hosted events.

Teeming with fast-growing biotech companies, this fully occupied building is active from early morning till late in the evening. Timberline’s team worked hand-in-hand with the client to develop intricate phasing, logistics and coordination plans providing safe access and egress while ensuring daily activities were not disrupted.

Initial phases of construction comprised restoration of the existing historic masonry façade and the addition of multi-colored LED up/down lighting around the perimeter of the building and the landmark rooftop statue. Two main entrances were also completely replaced to create elegant entry points to this classic building. In addition, Timberline has also completed tenant improvements ranging from offices to BL2 labs for the building’s sophisticated tenants.

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