REGIONAL PROFILES
From Massachusetts Economic Development Guide 2023-24
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High 5

REGIONAL PROFILES
LabCentral researcher in Cambridge
Photo courtesy of Office of Governor Maura Healy

by LINDSAY LOPP
F

rom the Berkshires to Boston, every corner of the Commonwealth has impacted the state’s economy. As a landscape saturated in scenic beaches, charming small towns and lively urban centers, it’s easy to understand why companies are moving to Massachusetts. 

Individually, each of the five regions offers various industries exactly what they are looking for. Whether it’s ocean access, connectivity with colleges and universities, or an expansive network of industry leaders, every section of this state has more than its fair share of attractive assets. 

 Greater Boston

The Greater Boston area proudly maintains its status as the world’s leading life sciences super cluster. With Cambridge at the center of the biotech boom, Kendall Square is filled with industry giants. Unquestionably, this region’s highly educated workforce is an attractive asset to companies. Among the 48 colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area, MIT, Harvard and Boston College are attracting the next generation’s best and brightest. 

In the last year alone, numerous technology and life sciences companies have continued to scale their facilities.

Yet again, Google has expanded its Cambridge campus with its latest installment, a 16-story building. The company now occupies 1 million sq. ft. of office, research and recreational space. Along with Biogen and Sanofi, Google owns one of the three largest offices in Kendall Square. 

LabCentral, a biotech incubator that supports startups, announced the construction of its third facility in Cambridge, LabCentral 238. As the nonprofit’s largest location, the new site will feature 100,000 sq. ft. of lab, office and manufacturing space. Since October 2022, nearly 200 people from 11 biotech startups have moved into the facility.  

In the western suburbs of Boston, global science and technology innovator Danaher Corporation is making plans for the headquarters of its upcoming separate environmental and applied solution (EAS) company, Veralto. Alongside the name announcement in February, Danaher said that the company is set to be based in Waltham and encompass a collection of brands already existing in Danaher’s EAS segments, including Hach, ChemTreat, Trojan, OTT HydroMet and McCrometer from the company’s Water Quality Platform and Videojet, Esko, X-Rite Pantone and Linx from the Product Identification Platform.

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Sneaker manufacturing at the New Balance factory in Methuen

Photo courtesy of Office of Governor Maura Healey

In 2022, Danaher’s EAS segment generated approximately $4.8 billion in revenue. The company intends to form Veralto in the fourth quarter of 2023. It will also apply to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under VLTO. 

Northeast 

Within the last decade alone, corporations in advanced manufacturing, technology, aerospace, robotics and life sciences have built their business in Northeastern Massachusetts. 

In March 2022, athletic footwear company New Balance renovated its 80,000-sq.-ft. factory in Methuen. The $20 million expansion is set to increase the facility’s production capabilities, as the company aims to produce 750,000 shoes annually from this location. The project announcement also stated that the facility’s current workforce of 90 would more than double in the next year. 

MilliporeSigma is a leading developer of life-saving therapies, including COVID-19 vaccines, and products and services for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. With locations in Burlington and Danvers, this company has long been a proactive presence in Northeast Massachusetts, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2020, the company put $25 million toward expanding its Danvers location. The renovation included adding 65,000 sq. ft. to the preexisting 120,000-sq.-ft. facility. Within the expanded area, the company was able to boost production capacity of its Mobius single-use consumables that are used in bioreactors that create vaccine or drug material. With this expansion, the company was also able to hire 400 new employees. Due to the Danvers facility’s efforts during the pandemic, this location was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Commonwealth’s Legislative Manufacturing Caucus in 2021.

Being on the waterfront, in the heart of a vibrant maritime community, is the perfect place to expand our company. We hope that having an office in Plymouth is an attractive option to potential talent, some who may already call Southeastern
Massachusetts or Cape Cod home.

— Ben Kinnaman, CEO, ACME Greensea Systems

“The last 18 months have taught us many valuable lessons about the importance of our manufacturing capabilities and our readiness to meet the surging demands presented by the pandemic. Our Danvers Operations team has worked tirelessly in support of public health and nearly doubled its size over the last year. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with local officials and industry leaders to create even more opportunity for all within the manufacturing sector,” said MilliporeSigma Executive Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain Operations Chris Ross. 

Southeast

Up and down the coast, port cities in Southeastern Massachusetts are making an impact on the state’s blue economy. 

For 20 consecutive years, New Bedford has been America’s most valuable fishing port and annually hauls in $451 million through commercial fishing alone. 

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New Bedford is the No. 1 most valuable fishing port in America.

Photo courtesy of New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC)

In 2020, Greensea Systems opened its second location in Plymouth. During the announcement of the site’s opening, the company revealed that it chose the port city for its second location due to its community of marine-focused businesses, research facilities and talent pool from institutes such as MIT and Boston University.

“Being on the waterfront, in the heart of a vibrant maritime community, is the perfect place to expand our company. We hope that having an office in Plymouth is an attractive option to potential talent, some who may already call Southeastern Massachusetts or Cape Cod home,” said Greensea CEO Ben Kinnaman.

As a leader in marine robotics innovation, Greensea is known for its OPENSEA Platform, which enhances autonomy, precision navigation, payload integration, over-the-horizon command and control. 

In 2023, Greensea launched a new company, Bayonet Ocean Vehicles. Though under the Greensea umbrella, Bayonet is an independent entity managed by the parent company’s executive team. This company was strategically created to develop, manufacture and distribute a line of amphibious, sea-floor-crawling robots that was acquired from C-2 Innovations Inc. This new technology will also feature Greensea’s OPENSEA software.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) has long been a prominent figure in the state’s blue economy. Located in Falmouth since 1930, WHOI is home to six research departments, including applied ocean physics and engineering, marine biology, geology and geophysics, marine chemistry and geochemistry, marine policy and physical oceanography. In November 2022, WHOI received
$2 million to fund the construction of a new state-of-the-art coastal research port facility called the Complex for Waterfront Access to Exploration and Research. 

Western Mass

Stretching across half the state, this region has many attributes that are attractive to expanding companies, including industrial space, a well-educated workforce, and easy access to Boston and New York, as both cities are only two hours away from many of the region’s major cities.

Major corporations, such as Amazon, have steadily been moving into Western Massachusetts. In 2019, Holyoke experienced a significant economic win when Amazon announced its plans for a new distribution center in the city. After the $5.6 million renovation was completed, Amazon introduced hundreds of new jobs to the area. Since the facility’s opening, the Holyoke location sorts and delivers around 35,000 packages per day.

Also in 2019, New England grocery store chain Big Y expanded its distribution center in Springfield. In order to support another 20 supermarkets, the project grew the facility space from 232,000 sq. ft. to 425,000 sq. ft. The receiving bays were also upgraded, with 34 new dock doors added to the existing 19. After the expansion, Big Y increased its staff at this location from 92 to 124.

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In the Berkshires, Interprint Inc., one of the world’s leading décor printers, recently invested $22 million toward expanding its Pittsfield location and tools. The company extended its facilities by 57,000 sq. ft. to provide space for additional rotogravure printing machines and storage goods. Currently, Interprint operates four presses designed to print décor paper for the laminate industry and one that prints flexible films for the luxury vinyl flooring industry. Once the project is completed in late 2023, eight printing lines will be in use. 

Central Mass

The biotech boom has spread into Central Massachusetts. From 2017 to 2020, this region experienced a 25% increase in biopharma employment with companies like Boston Scientific, Hologic and Sunovion all headquartered in Marlborough. 

In 2021, U.S.-based global pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) began building a state-of-the-art cell manufacturing facility. Located in Devens on BMS’s 89-acre campus, this new facility will aid in development of Breyanzi, a cell-based gene therapy for certain types of large B-cell lymphoma, alongside other products for clinical and commercial cell therapy. Within the new 244,000-sq.-ft. location, over 300 new jobs are expected to be created.

Less than an hour from Boston, Cytiva opened its Cell Culture Center of Excellence in Marlborough. Announced in November 2022, the new 11,500-sq.-ft. facility will allow the company to introduce a new cell line development service and expand its cell culture development capabilities. 

To meet the growing demand for biopharmaceutical applications, like silicon hose and tubing, Trelleborg Healthcare and Medical began expanding its Northborough facilities in January 2023. To grow the company’s manufacturing capacity, 25,000 sq. ft. will be added onto the site’s Class 7 and Class 8 clean rooms. This project will also create 50 new jobs in the Northborough area.

Another prominent industry in this region is advanced manufacturing. 

After acquiring multiple properties, 2022 was a construction-heavy year for the Kraft Group. Last year, the company began building the first phase of what is predicted to be 2.4 million sq. ft. of industrial space. Located in the Blackstone Valley town of Sutton, the 448-acre site will extend the distribution capacity of UN1F1ED2 Global Packaging Group, a joint venture that manufactures packing materials.

Prior to this, the company purchased a 26-acre industrial property in Northbridge for $19.7 million and a 99,000-sq.-ft. packaging warehouse in Webster for 7.5 million. 

Bristol Myers Squibb’s cell therapy manufacturing facility in Devens under construction
Photo courtesy of Bristol Myers Squibb



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