Working on a high profile project: complex, critical, compelling
9th March 2023
In late 2020, we embarked on a very high-profile project with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
We spoke to Chris Colón, Workplace Project Director, to understand more about the project and what it was about MovePlan that set it apart from its competitors throughout the bidding process.
Tell us a bit about the project.
Cambridge Crossing is a massive redevelopment project creating a new urban neighbourhood and innovation hub at the intersection of Cambridge, Somerville and Boston in the US. It’s a high profile project and, when complete, will have over 4.5 million square feet of retail, residential and commercial space set in 43 acres.
How did you get onto the bid list?
This was an unusual scenario. We were in the early stages of the pandemic, and with a lot of our projects delayed, we were undertaking research into businesses we would like to support. I sent an email to the real estate team of one of our desired clients, introducing them to MovePlan and asking them whether they’d like to meet. One thing led to another and we were placed on the bid list for a major project.
How did you position MovePlan during the bid process?
We were up against our typical competitors; local medium-sized and large consultancy firms but we knew we had the right experience and ethos to be truly competitive.
The project was complex. We wouldn’t just be moving people’s possessions and relocating them to a new city-center location and into a space with a new way of working. We would be moving their life’s work, research they’d spent years working on, their purpose and passion. Ultimately this research could be curing a disease, so it had huge societal importance.
We knew it required a team that had a deep understanding and respect for the sophisticated work that was undertaken, and the right knowledge of moving not just important items, but also people who would have been accustomed to a certain, and critical, way of working. We were confident that we had the right team who would thoughtfully consider and care for every facet of the project.
What type of work did this project involve?
It was a great brief, requiring both change and move management expertise. The statistics are pretty interesting: several outgoing locations moving into the new campus in Cambridge Crossing. This included 3,000 head office staff moving into their new office building and 1,500 researchers moving to the new research building.
It was a complex project, with many moving parts. One example of this was moving freezers and live samples. This in itself is complex as we had to consider handling the samples, moving them at the correct temperature, monitoring them at the relocation site, ensuring that every step of the move is validated. Every point of that particular relocation would be a worry to the researchers, so we made sure that we would be working with them very closely to ensure they were comfortable with the process and present at every stage. Peace of mind is key.
How did you feel when the project was awarded to MovePlan?
Over the moon! It wasn’t just the fact we’d be working with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on one of the US’s most high profile innovation and residential campus builds, but the important work the client undertook meant that the brief was complex and interesting, and ultimately of utmost importance. So, we were delighted to be playing a key role in supporting our client’s relocation – a major anchor tenant of the area.
It is not two years since the bidding process, and it is such a good feeling to know that we are so close to completion, with all staff, both head office and research, either settling in or preparing to settle in. It’s definitely a project we’ll be proud of for years to come.