Rafi Properties announces Sublime Systems expansion at Somernova

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Sublime to add more than 23,000 square feet of pilot and R&D space to the Somerville innovation hub. — Photo courtesy of Somernova.

 Rafi Properties, owner and operator of Somernova, the 7.4 acre innovation campus and community dedicated to helping people and companies iterate and grow faster, announced today that Sublime Systems (Sublime) will expand their headquarters on the campus. Sublime, the leading developer of a fossil-fuel-free, scalable, drop-in replacement for traditional cement in concrete, will add more than 23,000 square feet of space for their 250 tonnes-per-year pilot facility and R&D lab to their footprint, in addition to the 6,500 square feet they currently occupy on the campus. Sublime’s expansion underscores Somernova’s continued status as a leading hub for the rapid growth of early-stage and venture-backed climatetech and tough tech companies in the region.

Sublime’s prototyping, piloting, and quality control lab, first established in 2020 at Greentown Labs‘ facility within Somernova’s campus, underwent rapid growth, prompting the need for additional space to scale up their production capabilities. Somernova’s transformative ecosystem was able to provide Sublime access to the resources, infrastructure and flexibility needed to scale. Working in partnership with the Somernova and Greentown Labs teams, Sublime was able to expand beyond their initial space into an additional adjacent facility on Somernova’s campus in 2022. Sublime was represented by Newmark, a world leading commercial real estate firm, in their 2023 search for a new headquarters. Today’s announcement marks yet another important milestone in Sublime’s continued growth at Somernova.

Sublime’s story is similar to many of Somernova’s tough tech tenants, including Form Energy, which was also incubated at Greentown Labs.

Form Energy, a technology company developing a new class of cost-effective, multi-day energy storage systems that will enable a reliable and fully renewable electric grid year-round, recently extended their 55,000-square foot lease at Somernova for four years.

Sublime’s expansion, combined with the growth of Form Energy, has led to the creation of nearly 400 new jobs on the Somernova campus. 

Sublime’s growth aligns with the current momentum in tough tech and climate tech industries throughout Massachusetts. The Healey administration recently unveiled their priorities for an economic development plan that will be filed over the next couple of weeks. These priorities include implementing programs and resources to ensure Massachusetts continues to establish itself as an international hub for the climatetech industry. Massachusetts currently ranks second in the nation, after California, in year-over-year growth of the climate tech sector.

“After starting out at Greentown, we wanted to continue our growth trajectory amid the innovative ecosystem we were founded in,” said Leah Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO of Sublime. “Collaborating with Somernova has enabled us to seamlessly scale in our own neighborhood and maintain our access to the high-quality talent coming out of the universities surrounding Somerville.”

“At Greentown Labs, we’re committed to supporting early-stage climatetech startups as they move from inception to prototyping to full-scale commercialization, and we’re proud to see Sublime Systems continue its growth here on Somernova’s campus,” said Kevin Knobloch, CEO and President of Greentown Labs. “We appreciate Somernova’s dedication to climatetech innovation and entrepreneurship, and its commitment to enabling Sublime’s next exciting stage of development.”

“Rafi Properties maintains its commitment at Somernova to fostering an environment and community that supports pathways for growth companies working to solve the world’s greatest challenges,” saidCollin Yip, Managing Director of Rafi Properties, Owner and Operator of Somernova. “This is a thriving ecosystem where visionary companies, such as Sublime, can coalesce to redefine the boundaries of sustainable technology for the greater good of our world.”

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