Robotics and Commercial Real Estate in Massachusetts

The robotics sector in Massachusetts is dynamically contributing to the evolution of the commercial real estate landscape, showcasing a blend of innovation and efficiency.

With Massachusetts being a hub for technology and innovation, particularly in the Boston area, the integration of robotics into all facets of industry and business is not just a trend, but a transformative movement. Robotics technology is seeing increased usage across a variety sectors, from performing complex medical procedures to optimizing warehouse operations, inventory management, and delivery processes. Two Massachusetts-based warehousing robotics firms, Pickle Robot Co. and Locus Robotics, each committed to new spaces last year in Charlestown and Wilmington for a total of 166,000 SF. Hunneman was proud to represent Pickle Robot in the selection of their new space, with Director of Finance & Operations David Smith recounting “Working with the Hunneman team has been instrumental to being able to continue to grow our business with new R&D and manufacturing spaces.  Their tenacity at finding us space that met our specific requirements and their responsiveness during the whole process was outstanding.  We look forward to working with them on the next expansion.”

Investment in the field is coming from both private and public sources, with both recognizing the rapid advancements being made as progress in artificial intelligence enables robotics to function with greater autonomy than ever before. Massachusetts’ Governor Healey recently proposed a $3.5 billion economic development bill with a major focus on high-tech industries including climate technology, life sciences, and robotics to ensure the state attracts and retains leaders across these industries. There was also the opening of the Boston University Robotics & Autonomous Systems Teaching and Innovation Center in March of 2024, which will join MIT, Harvard, and other higher educational institutions in the Greater Boston area in providing top-tier facilities for students to engage in robotics in order to develop and pioneer advances in the field

As Massachusetts continues to be a leading player in technological innovation, the local robotics sector projects for continued growth due to the concentration of talent in the state and the clustering effect attracting robotics firms to the area to benefit from existing industry infrastructure. The path to scaling commercially for the industry is also clear, as technological advances and widening acceptance of automation in performing duties once restricted to individuals allows for robotics to fill a greater number of roles. The state's supportive ecosystem, featuring world-renowned academic institutions, tech incubators, and a robust investment community, ensures that the robotics industry will continue to thrive, offering exciting prospects for the future.

The industrial/flex commercial real estate market remains historically strong, and as of Q4 2023, the metro Boston Industrial market has a 5.7% vacancy rate, with 288.3 million square feet of inventory and asking rents sitting at approximately $15.75/SF NNN. With significant new deliveries all across the metro area, there are a wide variety of attractive options for prospective tenants looking to grow and expand.

For companies seeking robotics space, it’s advised to engage a professional team early, including architects, engineers, as well as legal and real estate experts. Conducting a thorough needs analysis, understanding MEP specifications, reviewing zoning requirements, and familiarizing oneself with the market and budget are crucial steps. Leveraging real estate expertise for market insights and strategic advice is essential for securing the best solution, not just the lowest price.




For more information, please contact:

Jim Boudrot, Executive Vice President |
Patrick Grady, Vice President |
Mark Fallon, Director of Research & Strategy |

Post by Hunneman
Mar 20, 2024